To say it hasn’t been an easy year for the Washington Wizards, would be an understatement of epic proportions.
From the death of owner Abe Pollin, to the gun-in-the-locker-room situation with Gilbert Arenas, to the trades of Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood, its been quite a rough seven-month stretch for the Wizards. And I did not even mention their dismal 26-56 record. But a little white ping pong ball may have changed that string of bad luck.
With Irene Pollin (the wife of the late Abe Pollin) and new owner Ted Leonsis in attendance, the Wizards won the NBA draft lottery, and were awarded the number one pick in the 2010 draft. They were able to win the lottery, despite only having a 10.3 percent chance of winning, after finishing with the fifth worst record in the NBA.
The last time the Wizards had the number one pick in 2001, they chose Kwame Brown, who in four pedestrian seasons, averaged just seven points and four rebounds. He was traded to the Lakers in 2005 as part of the trade that brought Butler to Washington.
The consensus number one player in this draft is John Wall, who averaged 16 points and 6.5 assists as a freshman at Kentucky. Evan Turner out of Ohio State, who averaged 20 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists during his junior year and won national player of the year, is considered to be the second best player.
In addition to the number one pick, the Wizards own Cleveland’s first round selection (30th overall) as a result of the Jamison trade and their own second round pick (35th overall).
Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld has said many times during the season and again in the offseason, that Gilbert Arenas, will return to the team next season, and the selection of either Wall or Turner would only enhance that backcourt. Shaun Livingston was the starting point guard for the Wizards at the conclusion of the 2009-2010 season, but his return to the team is uncertain.
Please stay tuned to Hoops Addict for audio, video and stories related to the upcoming draft, which will be held on June 24th.