Bobcats hope to beat odds, land No. 1 draft pick

Associated Press Modified: May 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm •  Published: May 29, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The odds are stacked against Michael Jordan's Bobcats winning the NBA lottery Wednesday night and landing the No. 1 pick in the draft.

It's a tough situation for Jordan because his struggling franchise can't afford yet another loss.

The Bobcats finished with the worst winning percentage in league history (.106) after going 7-59 in the labor-shortened regular season. Nonetheless, they have a 25 percent chance of getting this year's top prospect — which appears to be 6-foot-10 Anthony Davis from Kentucky.

"It's probably as big of a day as we've had in our history since Michael joined," said Bobcats president and COO Fred Whitfield.

The Bobcats are expecting about 5,000 fans for an open house at Time Warner Cable Arena and they'll be rooting for the Bobcats to hit the lottery.

History isn't on Charlotte's side.

The team with the worst record in the league hasn't won the NBA lottery since 2004 — the year the Orlando Magic used the No. 1 pick to select Dwight Howard. Since then, the team with the worst record has received the second pick three times, the third pick once and the fourth pick three times.

If the Bobcats don't get the first pick, their odds of winning the second pick drop to 21.5 percent. If they don't get the No. 2 pick they have only a 17.7 percent chance of landing the third pick.

They can draft no lower than fourth overall.

The Washington Wizards, which finished 20-46, have the second-best chance of winning the lottery at 19.9 percent, followed by New Orleans (14.8) and Cleveland (13.8).

Whitfield cautioned it's not the end of the world if the Bobcats don't get the top pick.

"It's an exciting time for us because we're going to add a quality piece to the young core that we already have," Whitfield said. "We feel this is a deep draft and we're looking at this as an opportunity to add a very good player to the mix."

But the Bobcats need more than a very good player, they need a franchise player — landing Davis would give them one.

They're also in the midst of a coaching search and getting the top pick makes the job more attractive to potential top-notch candidates.

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