SECAUCUS, N.J. -- The Philadelphia 76ers brought one of Smarty Jones's horseshoes to the NBA Draft Lottery.
It wasn't good enough because the Orlando Magic had the best charm of all -- Pat Williams.
Without the benefit of a rabbit's foot or horseshoe, Williams won his fourth draft lottery last night, giving the Magic the right to make the first pick in next month's draft with the Los Angeles Clippers picking second and Chicago third.
Williams also won the lottery in 1992 and '93 with Orlando, and in 1986 with Philadelphia. The '93 pick was Shaquille O'Neal.
"They rolled the kid out again, dusted off the suit and said `Go out and win one for the Gipper,' " quipped Williams, the senior vice president of the Magic.
Unlike a year ago, the draft doesn't have a clear No. 1 pick such as LeBron James.
Williams didn't seem to care.
"It's huge and we're not sitting here with Shaq or Michael Jordan, it appears," Williams said. "Ninety percent of the time, I think it's safe to say, that No. 1 picks turns out to be very good players. More than anything, it gives our franchise a lift. We struggled through a really difficult period of time."
In a season where Tracy McGrady battled injuries, the Magic won a league-low 21 games.
Connecticut center Emeka Okafor and Atlanta high school star Dwight Howard have been mentioned prominently as possible top picks, but each has drawbacks.
Okafor has battled a back problem and Howard is like any youngster -- one never knows.
Orlando came into the lottery with the best chance to win with 250 out of 1,000 chances.
However, the odds have tended to work against the favorite. When Cleveland won the lottery last year, it was only the second favorite to win since New Jersey in 1990.
None of the lottery long shots came in. The teams that were supposed to pick in the sixth through 14th spots in the draft remained in that order.
Washington slipped two spots to No. 5, opening the door for the Los Angeles Clippers to take it all.
The expansion Charlotte Bobcats were slotted into No. 4.
The final three envelopes opened by deputy commissioner Russ Granik belonged to Chicago, the Clippers and Orlando.