CHICAGO ( Associated Press) — The Orlando Magic won the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, earning the No. 1 pick for the first time since selecting Dwight Howard in 2004.
This is the fourth time Orlando has won the lottery. He did it back-to-back years in 1992 and 1993 when he drafted Shaquille O’Neal and later traded the rights from Chris Webber to Penny Hardaway.
Orlando finished with an Eastern Conference-best 22-60 record and missed the playoffs for the eighth time in 10 years. But he won the lottery that he reached with a 14% chance of winning first place.
“It feels really good,” acknowledged president of operations Jeff Weltman. “I am very happy for the fans. They stuck with us and nights like this help when you really demonstrate the fruits of all these phases and cycles.”
Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Perdue’s Jaden Ivey and Auburn’s Jabari Smith are considered top pick candidates. The draft is scheduled for June 23 in New York.
Oklahoma City was left with the second pick, followed by Houston and Sacramento. The Kings moved up from seventh place before the lottery.
Detroit will pick fifth, followed by Indiana, Portland and New Orleans in the top 10. The order is rounded out by New York, Oklahoma City, Charlotte and Cleveland.
The lottery, which is made up of 14 ping pong balls with numbers from 1 to 14, establishes the first four selections. The rest of the teams that did not reach the postseason go in the reverse order that they finished.
Houston, Orlando and Detroit had a 14% chance of finishing first.
The Magic committed to rebuilding in the draft, trading veterans Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon in March 2021 for first-round picks in 2023 and 2025. But they were without two of the young players this season. try to rebuild. Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz were out with knee injuries.
New Orleans was possibly one of the lottery’s biggest winners. The Pelicans received the pick in the 2019 trade that brought Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
Because the Lakers struggled and went 33-49, eighth-worst in the NBA, the Pelicans were able to take advantage. They just needed to be in the top 10 to keep the selection.
Now they’re in a position to add a lottery pick to play alongside All-Star Brandon Ingram.