*TC NBC's Bob Costas got a Charlotte Hornets uniform out of yesterday's NBA draft lottery, which he probably won't wear, while league commissioner David Stern got a Hornets cap, which he certainly wouldn't wear, or at least not on camera.
All John Nash, the Washington Bullets' general manager, got out of the lottery was a trip to New York to see his team get the eighth pick in the June 26 draft, the same spot they had when the day began.
"But at least my trip wasn't as long as some of my brethren," said Nash, who wore the same suit and carried the same good luck pieces that he did when he represented the Philadelphia 76ers at the lottery drawing.
In relative terms, Nash came out a lot better than, say, the Los Angeles Clippers, who got the ninth pick or the Denver Nuggets, who had the NBA's worst record and the most ping-pong balls in the weighted lottery, yet managed to finish out of the top three and landed with the fourth pick.
For his part, Nash said he was "a little disappointed" that the Bullets, participating in their third straight lottery, which is open to the 11 teams that fail to make the playoffs, didn't get one of the top three picks.
But, unlike last season, the team still has possession of both its first-round selection and a wealth of options that go with it.
"We're not committed to holding on to the pick. We're in the initial stages of evaluating what we want to do. It will take us weeks to figure that out," said Nash.
The Bullets have three choices with their pick, given their identified need for either a point guard or a center and the realization that the top players in this draft at both positions -- Georgia Tech's Kenny Anderson and Georgetown's Dikembe Mutombo -- are likely to be gone when they select.
They can keep the choice, gambling that point guards like Nevada-Las Vegas' Greg Anthony or La Salle's Doug Overton or centers like New Mexico's Luc Longley or former Louisiana State postman Stanley Roberts will still be on the table.
"Yes, if we wanted to keep the pick, there is at least one quality player available at the positions that we need to fill," said Nash. "This draft is deep enough for teams in the second 10 to get what they need."
The Bullets also could trade their selection, either in a package with a veteran or with a future choice to move higher in the order, or to a team further down in the draft to get a current NBA player and a later pick or for a quantity of picks.
Nash said that a trade to move up in the draft -- which will go Charlotte, New Jersey, Sacramento, Denver, Miami, Dallas, Minnesota, Washington, the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando and Cleveland -- would seem unlikely since teams at the top of the draft tend to "get more enamored of the college talent as we get closer to the draft."
"But Miami had the third pick last year and they traded down to get the ninth and 15th picks," said Nash. "They have the fifth pick and they might want to get a more veteran player. So, anything is possible."