Biggest NBA Draft Lottery moments in Wizards' history

John Wall

Come Tuesday night, the fate of 14 teams in the NBA will be determined by a few ping pong balls as the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery takes place. 

The Washington Wizards, however, will not be a part of the festivities as the team is locked into the 15th overall pick. Still, Washington has been impacted greatly by the lottery in years past.

Therefore, in honor of the latest edition of the NBA Draft Lottery, let's take a look back at some of the biggest moments the Wizards were involved in.

1. Landing the No. 1 pick in 2010...and John Wall

A moment for Washington that forever altered the course of the franchise. On May 18, 2010, the Wizards entered the night with just a 10.3% shot of claiming the first overall pick. The team's current draft position was five.

Yet, with Irene Pollin at the podium and Ted Leonsis nearby, the luck of the ping pong balls bounced their way and Washington jumped up four spots to earn the No. 1 pick. That, of course, meant an opportunity to draft a point guard out of Kentucky named John Wall. It was a miraculous night for the franchise that even comes with an incredible oral history of the excitement.

The Wizards would take Wall at No. 1 and the point guard would become the heart and soul of the organization for a decade.

2. Dropping to No. 3 to draft No. 3

Going into the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, the Wizards had a 19.9% chance at the No. 1 pick and were positioned at No. 2, yet they left the night with the No. 3 pick.


As disappointing as that may have been, it could be viewed as a sign. Come draft day, Washington took Bradley Beal with the pick, a No. 3 at No. 3 if you will, and that seems to have turned out pretty well. 

3. Getting No. 1 in 2001

John Wall wasn't the first time the Wizards moved up to No. 1 the night of the lottery, as the organization hit on its 15.7% chance in 2001 to jump two spots for the first pick.

It didn't turn out quite as well, though, as Kwame Brown was the selection. The center/power forward played four seasons for Washington before moving on to Los Angeles.

4. Jumping 5 spots in 2013

Just a year after grabbing Beal at No. 3, the Wizards found themselves in the same position again in 2013. Yet this time the organization made it to the spot with some luck, as they held the eighth position going in.

That was essentially the best part of the 2013 NBA Draft for Washington, as the selection of Otto Porter Jr. was not as successful as Beal. Though he contributed for several seasons, he never became the elite option many hoped for.