Turner or Wall? Wizards Mull No. 1 Draft Pick

Flip Saunders says Ohio State's Evan Turner is maybe the most versatile player in the draft.

He describes Kentucky guard John Wall as the most dynamic player available.

With that in mind, does the Washington Wizards coach have a preference for which player he'd like his team to choose with the No. 1 overall pick?

"Yeah, I probably do," he said.

Is he ready to say it publicly?

"No."

The guessing game was under way Wednesday, and it won't end until the NBA draft on June 24.

After Turbulent Year, Lottery Luck for Wizards

The Wizards won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, an important boost for a franchise that endured one of its worst seasons ever.

Washington has its choice of Turner, the national player of the year, and Wall.

"Sometimes you need something to give you a little shot in the arm," Saunders said. "This was definitely something that gave us excitement. It should give the whole D.C. area a lot of excitement."



That's been the case with the past two Washington No. 1 overall picks: Alex Ovechkin for the Washington Capitals in 2004 and Stephen Strasburg for the Washington Nationals last year.

However, the Wizards missed the last time they had the top spot in 2001. They chose Kwame Brown, who never lived up to the billing and was eventually traded.

"What we've seen with Ovechkin is that if you get a good young player that is a dominant player, it sets your team up for a long, long time to be successful and make runs to try to win titles," Saunders said.

The Wizards finished 26-56 in a season that included the death of longtime owner Abe Pollin and Gilbert Arenas' suspension for bringing guns into the Verizon Center locker room.

Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson were dealt just before the trade deadline, so the team is in full rebuilding mode.

Another new piece will be Ted Leonsis, the Capitals owner who is buying the Wizards from Pollin's estate.

Leonsis, attending the lottery, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that Saunders and general manager Ernie Grunfeld will keep their jobs.

For Saunders, though, the good news came when the Pingpong balls gave the Wizards the No. 1 pick.

"It looked like a bunch of kids playing Little League that were getting ready to go to Dairy Queen," Saunders said. "They'd just won a game."


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