Jackpot: Milwaukee wins NBA lottery, No. 1 pick

Posted: Wednesday, May 25, 2005

SECAUCUS, N.J. — After a season of injuries, the Milwaukee Bucks beat the odds and won the NBA lottery on Tuesday night, creating exciting possibilities for next month's draft.

The Bucks, who had only a 6.3 percent chance of winning the lottery, now have the options of dealing the No. 1 pick in the June 28 draft, using it to entice Michael Redd to re-sign or simply choosing a talented player like center Andrew Bogut, forward Marvin Williams or point guard Chris Paul.

''It certainly opens up opportunities with other teams that would like to get the first pick,'' Bucks general manager Larry Harris said. ''I don't want to come out and say that the Milwaukee Bucks are trading the pick but it certainly creates a lot of buzz for the Milwaukee Bucks. We are in position now where we control the draft.''

Unlike the native American Indian rock that Phil Jackson gave girlfriend Jeanie Buss to help the Lakers executive vice president in the lottery, Harris got plenty of luck from a fishing lure and a bracelet provided by Bucks' fans.

It helped Milwaukee jump over five teams to win its first lottery since 1994, the year they took Glenn Robinson.

''I don't know if I'll sleep tonight,'' Harris said. ''Being a math major, with a 6.3 percent chance to win, I didn't think we had much of a chance at it.''

Redd, an unrestricted free agent, has told Harris he wants to return, but only if the team is able to contend.

''I told him we would do whatever we can,'' Harris said. ''Phase one is done. So now we have to make sure we make the right decision.''

Atlanta, which won a league-low 13 games and had the best chance of securing the No. 1 pick, will instead have the second choice.

''Now we have a clear picture of where we're going and what we're going to do,'' Hawks general manager Billy Knight said. ''We're comfortable with it. There is only one guess. They are only picking one name ahead of ours. They're going to do whatever they're going to do.''

Portland made the other big move in the lottery, jumping from No. 5 to third.

''I was just coming in hoping we could hold our place because I liked what I felt would be available at No. 5,'' Portland General Manager John Nash said. ''Now that we are at three, we have improved our chance of getting a good player.''

The big losers were New Orleans, Charlotte and Utah, which all dropped two spots in the order. The Hornets had the second best chance to win the lottery but they slipped to No. 4. The Bobcats, who also had the rights to Cleveland's pick in the lottery, went from No. 3 to No. 5. Utah, which had the fourth worst record, fell to No. 6.

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