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New Orleans Hornets win NBA Draft Lottery, rights to Anthony Davis

May 30, 2012, 8:33 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v New Orleans Hornets Getty Images

Tom Benson is a good luck charm for New Orleans.

He is in the process of buying the struggling Hornets franchise to keep the NBA’s smallest market from losing its team — now the biggest star to come out of college in years is headed there.

The New Orleans Hornets have won the NBA Draft Lottery. Which means they will be drafting Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, the consensus No. 1 pick many scouts think could have a Kevin Garnet-like career. He is a franchise changing pick. He led Kentucky to a national championship — won in the Superdome in New Orleans.

“New Orleans right now needs a lot of help but we’re getting better every day,” Benson said on the broadcast. “Between the Saints and the Hornets, wow, no telling what’s going to happen.”

The Hornets had been run into the ground by former owner George Shin, the NBA itself had to buy the team and run it for a year, and the Hornets were forced to deal Chris Paul before the season (or lose him after it for nothing to free agency).

The fact the league owns New Orleans will spawn 1,000 new conspiracy theories on how the lottery is rigged. I’ll just say this — if it was rigged the biggest star to come out of college in years would not be headed to the league’s smallest market.

The Horents have some nice young pieces, led by guard Eric Gordon, and new coach Monty Williams turned them into a team that played hard. Now they just got really interesting.

The Hornets had a 13.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, and their move up the board was the only shake up in the draft order. The rest of the draft stayed to form.

1. New Orleans
2. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Washington Wizards
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Portland Trail Blazers (via Nets)
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Toronto Raptors
9. Detroit Pistons
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota)
11. Portland Trail Blazers
12. Milwaukee Bucks
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets

A few quick notes:

• New Jersey’s pick, the sixth overall, goes to Portland as part of the Gerald Wallace trade. Wallace is a free agent, if the Nets don’t resign him they will have given the pick away for a three-month rental. That is very Nets.

• The Warriors did not get leapfrogged by a team below them, so they get to keep their pick — if it was 8 or lower the Jazz got the pick. Golden State’s tanking at the end of the season really paid off.

• Notice the Hornets will also have the No. 10 pick, that via Minnesota.

  1. cullenand99 - May 30, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Welcome to New Orleans, Mr.Davis.

  2. 420hippy - May 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    why wouldnt a nba owned team win the lottery….FIXED?

    • NOLA in Focus - May 30, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      I didn’t realize Tom Benson sold the Hornets back to the league….

      • yaryers - May 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

        The NBA still owns the Hornets. The sale is not finalized.

      • soflasfinest - May 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM

        I can see the sneaky Jew stern saying “Hey who wants to buy the Hornets? Ps, I’ll throw in the #1 pick”…..Sold!!

      • patfic15 - May 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

        Nice burn.

      • mshinson - May 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM

        “He is in the process of buying the struggling franchise to keep the NBA’s smallest market from losing its team”

      • wlubake - May 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        He doesn’t own them yet. The deal hasn’t closed, so the NBA still owns the team.

      • 420hippy - May 31, 2012 at 5:12 PM

  3. spellingcopfather - May 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Will Davis pull a Kobe???

    • fm31970 - May 30, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      …and have a Hall of Fame career? Hornets fans hope so.

      • spellingcopfather - May 31, 2012 at 4:44 AM

        Fun fact: did you know Kobe ask for a trade from the Hornets many,many years ago?

    • loungefly74 - May 31, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      i don’t think it happened that way. yes, its true kobe did not want to play for the hornets but that pick was already traded to the Lakers in a deal before the draft…

  4. greej1938l - May 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Did you spell Kevin Garnett wrong? Or is that me? Either way..MJs gotta be sick

  5. mrlaloosh - May 30, 2012 at 8:47 PM


  6. trevormcnamara - May 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    What the hell is wrong with the nets? They trade away for gerald wallace, a guy we didnt need, and gave a top 3 projected pick away. At least we should’ve made it top 7 protected.

    • zeedoubleyou - May 31, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      “What the hell is wrong with the nets?”

      Billy King

  7. explosionsauce - May 30, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    To everyone who thinks Jordan must be pissed, remember that he was a 3rd overall pick in the 84 draft.

    • mashoaf - May 31, 2012 at 12:43 AM

      And is the year 1984 with Michael Jordan being able to be drafted?

      • dadawg77 - May 31, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Maybe. If people knew MJ was available in 84, I think Houston has 6 titles instead of 2. Then again those Portland teams with the Dream would have been strong contenders.

  8. southpaw77 - May 30, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Only in Cleveland would they win the coin toss (tied for same record) with the Hornets to have 3rd most ping pong balls and then lose the lottery.

    Cavs gotta hope Davis, Robinson, and Gilchrist go top 3 so they can land Beal.

    I still say the actual lottery should be televised, whats the big secret?

    • soflasfinest - May 30, 2012 at 9:30 PM

      Why? Because its rigged duh.

      • ravenscaps48 - May 31, 2012 at 8:47 AM

        Wizards will take Beal at #3

    • dadawg77 - May 31, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      I think they package it the way they do to create maximum amount of drama in a exact time frame. The actual lottery consists of lottery pinball machines shooting out a number with ranges assigned to teams. Out of the numbers pop out by the machine, we know first and last of whose range it fell in. As after Hornets number came up, their number could have come up multiple times but wouldn’t have counted. That could be boring and more importantly it lacks set time frame for TV.

  9. southpaw77 - May 30, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Oh and they wont be the Hornets for long, Benson said a name change is coming.

    All this does is give that smug Stern a chance to say i told you so. They sucked just enough to land this pick. If they had the CP3 trade they woulda had talent enough to contend for a playoff spot last year.

  10. blarry21 - May 30, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Great. Another boring mediocre season for the hapless Bucks. That’s it, I’m moving.

  11. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    When I saw this post my heart immediately sank. New Orleans who owns Minnesota’s #1 from the Clippers. I immediately thought that was the Wolves pick. That would have been their luck

    Never has Minnesota won the lottery. Minnesota has only stayed the same once. Every other time they have dropped. So naturally why wouldn’t have been their pick?

  12. dal24la - May 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I don’t know how Davis suppressed his scream of joy when the Bobcats were announced as the #2 team…

  13. nyasdad14 - May 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Please fire Billy King, Mr. Prokerovov.

  14. patfic15 - May 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    How does Billy King still have a job?

    • abchome - May 31, 2012 at 6:40 AM

      How did Billy King get the job in the first place? Not even KGB could save the Nyets now…

  15. lakerluver - May 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Stern’s a joke and so is his lottery system. If it wasn’t rigged it sure looks like it was. How can “arguably” the worse team in NBA history NOT get the 1st overall pick?!! The Colts sucked and they got Luck. The NBA needs to take some pointers from the NFL. Why is it only in the NBA that the draft process is suspect?! I still despise that little snake in the grass Stern for vetoing what would’ve been a tremendous trade for my beloved LAKERS.

  16. blueblood86 - May 30, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wait aren’t the hornets from Charlotte?
    What irony

  17. rollteal - May 30, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    It’s got to sting in Charlotte not #1 overall pick…. Nevermind they lost their team that had the stingers !!

  18. captaincanuck84 - May 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    The lottery isn’t televised because it is fixed. It’s harder to rifle through the balls looking for the ball you want when
    Its on TV!!

  19. redstar504 - May 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    I get so tired about hearing how New Orleans is the smallest market it’s not, for whatever reason the 2 biggest areas (west bank and north shore) are not counted as being part of the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner New Orleans Metro Area. Those 2 areas added in double the metro population. I don’t understand why they aren’t included where I live on the Westbank is geographically closer to downtown than Metairie but I guess since you have to cross a bridge to get there we don’t count who knows.

  20. lmvs2012 - May 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Davis in the hornets! Another failure!

  21. ezmagic - May 30, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    FIXED! I agree with soflasfinest, that little sneaky Jew stern had to of thrown in as an incentive that #1 pick to the buyer. Nazi Jew stern lmao what a contradiction. I am starting to hate the stern run nba.

    Fuk the heat too, what a bunch of non calls on wade. FIXED!!!

  22. andrewproughcfe - May 31, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Kurt’s right. If Stern was going to rig the lottery, it would have been for the larger TV market – and I think Washington DC was the largest market of the top 6 teams that had any chance. DC is the 9th largest TV market in the country, Cleveland is #17, Sacramento is #20, Portland is #22, and Charlotte is #24, whereas New Orleans is only #53.

    Clearly sending the best prospect of the last few years to the #53 TV market in the country is not good business if you are going to be rigging lotteries.

    If the NBA really wanted to rig the lottery, the Golden State Warriors with their 3.6% chance and 6th largest US TV market would have gotten Anthony Davis.

    • aboogy123456 - May 31, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      it’s not that simple, it still comes down to money. Stern is in the process of selling the hornets, and having the number one pick significantly raises the value of the team. I think the rig is that in order to sell the team they had to throw in some extra incentive, and a number one pick will do that.

      Come on use your head, there are more factors than just the market. Stern can easily rig it again next year and send a derrick rose type player to a huge market, chicago for example.

      We look at the game as fans, and we want it to be as fair a game as possible, but in reality, the nba is product that we are buying. Stern doesn’t look at it like we do, this is a business that is manipulated by the guys upstairs to bring in more money for the long term. To think otherwise is just careless.

  23. kenyanteg123 - May 31, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Trade Kemba Walker for a washing machine, and you have your starting point guard Charlotte! Haha, you guys will suck for the rest of existence. Go Cavs!

  24. adzs - May 31, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Woke up, muttered some prayers, checked…blew my roof off lool :D…I don’t care much for the conspiracy theories but im really happy that
    A.) Davis is joining what has looked like a promising rebuilding process in the last season even if the record didnt show it and
    B.) The Bobcats missed out even following their horrifically played out historic tank job; Hate the way they’ve run that franchise into the ground and they didnt deserve a gem like davis 😀

  25. narrabeen23 - May 31, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Kurt, your premise that Davis would be in a large market is wrong. People do funny things when they’re desperate to sell a multimillion dollar asset that they have no business owning in the first place

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