The Wizards’ odds of winning the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday are slim and the actual prize isn’t obvious, since no player has distinguished himself as the unquestioned No. 1 overall pick. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any intrigue on the night Ping-Pong balls set the fate for non-playoff teams.
Washington will either end up with one of the top three picks or any slot between eight and 11, giving the team plenty of possibilities — and at least a dozen players to consider. A Wizards contingent that included team president Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Randy Wittman interviewed 15 players last week in Chicago at the NBA draft combine, but didn’t speak to the favorites to go first or second — Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel or Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore — or UNLV forward Anthony Bennett, who didn’t attend because of left shoulder surgery.
The Wizards have a 3.5 percent chance of winning the top choice for the second time in four years, a 4.1 percent chance of picking second and a 4.8 percent chance of getting the third pick. If no team leapfrogs the Wizards into the top three — the most likely scenario at 70.3 percent — they will pick eighth. They have a 16.5 percent chance of picking ninth, a 0.8 percent chance of picking tenth and a 0.01 percent chance of being jumped by three teams and picking 11th.
Between now and the June 27 draft at Barclays Center, the Wizards will spend time observing prospects through workouts and dinners, field and make calls about potential trades and decide the best course of action for the organization. The day after the lottery, the Wizards’ brass will attend a two-day workout session in New Jersey for about 44 draft prospects hosted by Brooklyn, Houston and the Los Angeles Clippers. And next week, it will head to Minnesota for another workout hosted by the Timberwolves.