NBA: Hornets get lucky, Jazz don't in draft lottery
The Utah Jazz needed some luck in Wednesday night's NBA Draft lottery to emerge with a first-round pick.
They didn't get it.
The Jazz would have received Golden State's pick if the Warriors had slipped backward in the lottery.
Instead, Golden State held steady at No. 7 and the Warriors retained the draft pick that was top-seven protected from Utah.
The big winner in the lottery was New Orleans, which owned only a 13.7 percent chance to move from fourth to first in the draft order.
That's what happened, however.
The Hornets won the lottery and own the top pick, which will certainly be used on Kentucky center Anthony Davis.
Like last year, when Cleveland's Kyrie Irving was the consensus No. 1 pick, Davis is the undisputed top prize in the June 28 draft.
In a TV interview moments after New Orleans secured the pick, new owner Tom Benson said, "Just a first step for us to winning it all."
Anthony's potential has drawn comparisons to Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan when they were entering the NBA, according to some NBA scouts.
As a still-developing freshman at Kentucky, he averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocked shots while leading the Wildcats to the national championship.
In Kentucky's 67-59 win over Kansas in the NCAA title game, Davis scored only six points on 1-for-10 shooting. But he collected 16 rebounds and blocked six shots.
Charlotte entered the lottery with the best chance to get the top pick 25 percent. It was the Bobcats' reward for their miserable 7-59 season. But they slipped to No. 2.
With the Hornets not getting Davis, the vacant head coaching job in Charlotte might be less appealing for a field of candidates that includes Jerry Sloan.
The longtime coach of the Jazz, who has been out of basketball since resigning in February of 2011, interviewed with Bobcats owner Michael Jordan last week.
Behind Charlotte, Washington will pick third in the draft, followed by Cleveland, Sacramento and Portland, which received the No. 6 pick in a trade with Brooklyn.
Golden State ended up with the seventh pick, followed by Toronto, Detroit, New Orleans, Portland, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Houston.
The Jazz would own the No. 18 pick in the first round, but they sent it to Minnesota as part of the Al Jefferson trade in 2010.
As it stands, the Jazz's lone pick in this year's draft will be No. 47 in the second round.
Among local college players, only Weber State point guard Damian Lillard will be impacted by the lottery.
Along with North Carolina sophomore Kendall Marshall, Lillard is considered one of the top two point guard prospects in the draft.
He will almost certainly be taken in the top 12.
Lillard averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds and four assists as a senior. He shot 40.9 from the college 3-point line and has reportedly played well in a number of pre-draft workouts.
2012 NBA Draft order
1. New Orleans
6. Portland (from Brooklyn)
7. Golden State
10. New Orleans (from Minnesota via L.A. Clippers)
16. Houston (from New York)
18. Minnesota (from Utah)
22. Boston (from L.A. Clippers via Oklahoma City)
24. Cleveland (from L.A. Lakers)
28. Oklahoma City
30. Golden State (from San Antonio)