Hornets hoping not to see logo early in lottery

Monday, May 17, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

With the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery (Tuesday, 7 p.m. Central time, ESPN) only a day away, here are a few lottery-related facts:

• The Hornets have a 0.8 percent chance of winning the draft lottery – worse odds than any team that has ever captured the No. 1 pick at the event. In 2008, Chicago won the top pick (the Bulls took Derrick Rose) with 1.7 percent odds. In 1993, Orlando prevailed despite a 1.5 percent chance (the Magic picked Chris Webber, then traded for Penny Hardaway). The majority of teams that have won the lottery in recent years have entered the event with between a 5 and 17 percent chance of doing so.

• There is a 90.7 percent chance that New Orleans will remain in the 11th slot. The following chart lists the team’s chances of landing in any of seven spots. It is impossible for the Hornets to end up anywhere in slots 4-10:
No. 11 pick: 90.7 percent
No. 12 pick: 6.3 percent
No. 3 pick: 1.2 percent
No. 2 pick: 0.9 percent
No. 1 pick: 0.8 percent
No. 13 pick: 0.01 percent
No. 14 pick: less than 0.01 percent

• Hornets president Hugh Weber will represent New Orleans on ESPN at the Secaucus, N.J. event. In the team’s previous two trips to the draft lottery, its representatives were Chris Paul (2006) and Chad Shinn (2007). The Hornets did not move up in either instance, claiming the 12th and 13th picks, respectively. Willis Reed represented New Orleans in 2005, when the Hornets dropped from the second slot to the fourth pick but wound up with CP3 in that draft.

• The NBA always holds the actual lottery drawing – prior to the televised portion of the event – in a separate room, supervised by NBA security and an independent accounting firm. The Hornets’ representative there will be vice president of communications Harold Kaufman. All 14 team reps in that room will be sequestered and forced to temporarily give up their cell phones and other communication devices, because they will know the outcome of the lottery prior to everyone else. They are not allowed to communicate with anyone until after the lottery outcome is revealed on ESPN, meaning that even if Kaufman learns that the Hornets have won the draft lottery, he will not be able to inform Weber.

• When the NBA unveils the order of the draft lottery, it does so in reverse order, which helps build the drama on TV. As a result, if the Hornets’ logo does not appear in any of the envelopes designated for spots 14, 13, 12 and 11, it means they have overcome considerable odds and moved into the top three.

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