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Owner's son hopes to be Wizards' lucky charm

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Craig Stouffer

Younger Leonsis to attend the NBA Draft Lottery

The Wizards have taken a page out of the playbook that landed the Cleveland Cavaliers the top pick in last year's NBA Draft.

Zach Leonsis, son of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, will represent the Wizards on stage in Times Square at Wednesday's NBA Draft Lottery, in the hopes that his presence will be the lucky charm to land Washington its second No. 1 overall pick in three seasons.

2012 NBA Draft lottery
When » Wednesday, 8 p.m.
Where » Disney/ABC's Times Square Studios, New York
TV » ESPN

The Cavaliers won the No. 1 pick last season when Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent his then 14-year-old son, Nick, to the stage in Secaucus, N.J. The Wizards, who sent John Wall, fell back three spots and landed with the sixth pick, which was used on Jan Vesely.

"It is a real privilege," said Zach Leonsis, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania last year and works for Monumental Sports and Entertainment. "I am excited and nervous, but no matter which pick we end up with, we will be adding a key piece to accelerate the team's rebuild."

Even if he's not on stage, Wall will be paying close attention this season, as a win in the lottery would assure the Wizards of the chance to land a second Kentucky one-and-done star with the top pick, forward Anthony Davis.

By finishing the shortened 66-game season with the second-worst record in the league, the Wizards (20-46) earned the second-best odds (19.9 percent). The Charlotte Bobcats (7-59), who finished the year with the worst winning percentage in NBA history percent, have best chance of winning the first pick (25 percent).

Only the top three positions in the draft are determined by the lottery, meaning the Wizards can fall no further than fifth. Aside from winning the top prize in 2001 and 2010, the Wizards have failed to move up in 13 of the 15 lotteries that they've participated.

Other top prospects expected to be taken in the top five picks include Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Florida guard Bradley Beal, Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes and Connecticut center Andre Drummond.

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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