User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Magic try to follow Howard trade with lottery luck

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

NEW YORK (AP) - Pat Williams is pretty good at being lucky, and he's got a hunch.

Advertisement
``I got a funny feeling that this could be another Magic year, here. For some reason, I've just got the feel,'' Williams said.

Orlando sure could use it.

Following a difficult first season after trading Dwight Howard, the Magic are hoping Williams can bring them more lottery luck.

Armed with the best odds and their three-time winner back on stage, the Magic will try to jump-start the rebuilding process Tuesday night by landing the rights to the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Williams has won four times, including victories in 1992, `93 and 2004 with the Magic. They used the most recent one to draft Howard, and no team since has entered with the best odds and won the lottery.

The Magic were back in the lottery the next two years but were busy playing in the postseason every spring since until this one, when they finished an NBA-worst 20-62 after sending Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers last August in a four-team deal.

That gives them a 25 percent chance at winning the rights to choose first in a draft that appears uncertain. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is considered the top choice, though he could miss the first two months of the season while recovering from a torn ACL.

Williams, the longtime team executive, thinks a victory would give the Magic and their fans a boost.

``And obviously, to be in that first slot, it gives you lots of flexibility,'' he said. ``Even in a year like this when there a lot of uncertainties with the draft - there doesn't appear to be a franchise turner, but there are lots of good players in this draft who will have NBA careers. But if we could pull off a win here, it would give our city just a big lift and after a tough year that would be more than welcome.''

Williams, in good spirits and saying he feels well 2 1/2 years after being diagnosed with blood cancer, jokes about his lottery history. The Magic celebrate it, with pingpong balls in their trophy case.

He's been so good that the NBA was forced to change the lottery process after Orlando's second victory. The Magic won the 1992 lottery and picked Shaquille O'Neal, then barely missed the playoffs in his rookie season. Yet they won again with just one pingpong ball out of 66, swapping the rights to Chris Webber for Penny Hardaway, and starting with the 1994 lottery the NBA tweaked the system to give the worst team an even better chance to win and making it nearly impossible for the lottery team with the best record to pull the upset.

``The Orlando rules,'' Williams said.

The biggest loser now has 250 chances out of 1,000 but keeps coming up empty. The Charlotte Bobcats had the worst winning percentage in NBA history last season but slipped to No. 2, missing their chance to pick college player of the year Anthony Davis.

Davis will be at the Times Square Studios on Tuesday to represent New Orleans in the Pelicans' introduction for much of the national audience. The former Hornets' name change became official at the end of the regular season.

The Pelicans have the fifth-best odds at 8.8 percent. Charlotte is second at 19.9 percent, followed by Cleveland (15.6) and Phoenix (11.9).

The lottery has supplanted the playoffs as Cleveland's offseason destination. The Cavaliers are in the lottery for the third straight year, a run that began when LeBron James packed his bags and headed for Miami

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who also has a string of casinos throughout Ohio, will be hoping for a little luck when the pingpong balls drop. The Cavs won the lottery in 2011 and used the No. 1 overall pick on point guard Kyrie Irving, who was named an All-Star this past season.

Last year, the Cavs picked fourth and chose Dion Waiters, who had a solid rookie season.

Cleveland has four of the top 33 picks - Nos. 19, 31 and 33 - in this year's draft and intend to add some talent and depth for coach Mike Brown, who Gilbert has brought back after firing him three years ago.

The draft is June 27 at Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.

Williams and the Magic have been gone so long that he isn't even sure the setup in the new location, after it was held for years in Secaucus, N.J., at an old NBA Entertainment studio.

``We'll have to see if we still have our Magic touch in the next decade,'' he said. ``But we're ready, we come loaded for bear. We worked hard and earned our 25 percent chance through 82 games, and that puts us in the pole position here.''

---

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

---

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Game 7 - Thunder at Warriors
News: NBA Playoffs - Game 7 Facts
Sportsbook: Warriors look to close out OKC
News: 2016 Playoff Results
News: Conference Finals Series Odds
Pau Gasol considering skipping Olympics
Warriors know Game 7 won't be easy
All for one: LeBron, Cavs bonding
Grizzlies announce Fizdale as coach
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
7-1 L8, 14-4 L18, 59% +3,169 TY
17-7 Run, 31-11 L42 Guarantees
7-1 L8 Picks, +2,288 This Year
6-2 L8 Picks, +2,262 This Season
6-2 L8, 13-5 L18 NBA Selections
4-0 Streak, +1,352 This Year
15-6 L21 Picks, 13-6 L19 G-Plays
13-5 Playoff Record, 16-6 L22
9-3 Last 12 Guaranteed Plays
4-0 L4 Postseason Picks
5-1 L6 Over/Under Plays
4-2 L6 Picks, 7-3 L10 G-Plays
5-2 L7 Guaranteed Plays
2-0 Saturday, 7-2 L9 Playoff Picks
3-1 L4 Picks, +2,442 NBA Totals TY
4-0 Postseason Run
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2015 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 3169
Kevin Rogers + 2492
Chip Chirimbes + 2288
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 400
Paul Bovi + 390
Chip Chirimbes + 385
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Paul Bovi 59 %
Greg Smith 57 %
Marc Lawrence 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1824
Jimmy Boyd + 1265
Stephen Nover + 1156
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2442
Paul Bovi + 1259
NeiltheGreek + 363
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 2846
Paul Bovi + 1160
Mark Franco + 1113
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership