Hornets Nab No. 1 Pick, Nets Come Up Empty In NBA Draft Lottery
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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The New Orleans Hornets will get their pick of the litter in next month’s NBA draft.
The league’s lottery wasn’t nearly as kind to Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
The Nets were the big loser when they stayed in the No. 6 spot. They owed their pick to Portland for this season’s Gerald Wallace trade unless they moved into the top three.
“I guess, going in, I didn’t expect to get the pick, so it’s not a disappointment in my eyes,” Nets general manager Billy King said. “If we would have gotten it, it would have been a nice bonus.”
The Nets could come up completely empty with Wallace expected to decline his player option for next season. But King defended the transaction and sounded confident that Wallace would re-sign.
“I think what Gerald Wallace brings to the table is a lot better than some of the younger guys,” he said. “They may take two or three years and, like I said, we’re trying to win right away.”
Meanwhile, projected top pick Anthony Davis can’t wait to play as a pro in the city where he won a championship in college.
The Hornets, recently sold by the NBA to Saints owner Tom Benson, won the lottery and the No. 1 pick overall — which they almost certainly will use to select the consensus college player of the year who led Kentucky to a national title.
He could be joined by another young piece, as the Hornets also have the No. 10 pick.
“I’m excited for our fans, especially those people who hung in there with us,” said coach Monty Williams, who represented the Hornets on stage and insisted his team keep playing hard as its difficult season was ending, even though it could have hurt its chances of landing a high pick.
“I’m excited for the Benson family. They bought this organization without knowing what pick we were going to have. And yet I’m mindful of all the work that is going to have to be done for us to be a good team. You can’t skip those steps. … Those two young guys can’t help us become a championship team overnight. We’ve got to address a lot of issues.”
The draft will be held June 28 at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Nets fans, would you rather have Wallace or the No. 6 pick? Sound off in the comments below…
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)