SECAUCUS, N.J. -- With a lucky charm from the franchise's best era, the Washington Wizards won the NBA's draft lottery Tuesday night.
Washington moved up from the No. 5 spot to earn the top pick in next month's draft, when it will likely choose between Kentucky freshman John Wall and national player of the year Evan Turner of Ohio State.
The Wizards were represented by Irene Pollin, who wore the 1978 Bullets championship ring of her late husband, longtime owner Abe Pollin. When the Wizards pulled off the surprising win, Irene Pollin's jaw dropped and appeared to mouth 'Oh my God!!' with wide eyes.
The lottery victory is one of the rare things that has gone right in a disastrous year for the Wizards, marred by the suspension of Gilbert Arenas for bringing guns into the Verizon Center locker room. They finished 26-56 after being widely forecast to finish in the middle of the Eastern Conference.
Now they hope the No. 1 pick can help spark a quick turnaround under Ted Leonsis, who is close to completing a deal to buy the franchise from the Pollin family.
The New Jersey Nets, which had an NBA-worst 12-70 record, fell to third. It's the sixth straight year the team with the best chance to win didn't land the top pick in the NBA draft.
New owner Mikhail Prokhorov represented the Nets at the draft lottery and showed little emotion after the Nets selection was revealed. New Jersey had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick.
The Philadelphia 76ers moved up to grab the No. 2 pick.
The Minnesota Timberwolves went into Tuesday night's draft lottery with the second-best chance to land the No. 1 overall pick. They ended up tumbling down to No. 4, the latest in a long line of hard luck in the NBA's annual drawing.
In 13 tries, the Timberwolves have never improved their position in the lottery. They have fallen seven times and picked where they were supposed to on six occasions.
Minnesota president David Kahn says he could try to swing a deal to move up on June 24.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.