A Look Back: When The Orlando Magic Won The Lottery... Three Times


The NBA’s annual draft lottery will be held Tuesday night around 8:30 pm EST., just before game one of the Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder gets underway.

As you’ll remember, the Magic have won the lottery three different times behind the apparent luck of their current Senior Vice President, Pat Williams.

Although the Magic had a couple of promising young former first round picks on the wings in Nick Anderson (who was Orlando’s firs ever draft pick – he went 11th overall in the 1989 draft) and Dennis Scott (who the Magic selected fourth overall in 1990), the Magic finished just 21-61 behind then coach and now play-by-play man, Matt Guokas. Orlando won the draft lottery and drafted future Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal.

After the jump, you can read about Orlando’s other two number one draft picks.

O’Neal had a monster rookie season (23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game) an led Orlando to a 41-41 record. Luck was once again on the Magic’s side despite their .500 record.

The Magic won the lottery and drafted Michigan big man Chris Webber. Webber was then sent to Golden State in exchange for Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and several first round picks. Hardaway averaged 16.0 points, 6.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game during his rookie season.

In 2004, after a disaster of a season that saw Doc Rivers get fired after a 1-10 start, Tracy McGrady ask for a trade and a 21-61 record, which was the worst in the NBA, the Magic again won the lottery. The Magic were faced with what appeared to be a difficult choice and opted to take the raw high schooler in Dwight Howard over a three-year graduate, the collegiate player of the year and 2004 National Champion in Connecticut big man Emeka Okafor.

I think that one worked out okay, too.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).

Tags: Chris Webber Dwight Howard Golden State Warriors Nba Draft Lottery Orlando Magic Penny Hardaway Shaquille O'neal