The New Orleans Hornets were awarded the top pick in next month's National Basketball Association (NBA) draft after winning the annual lottery that favors weaker teams on Wednesday.
The Charlotte Bobcats had the best odds at landing the top pick after posting the season's worst record (7-59) but will have the second pick of the available talent and be followed by the Washington Wizards (20-46).
Winning the top pick provides a silver lining to a 21-45 season for the Hornets, who are expected to use the selection to draft 19-year-old power forward Anthony Davis from the University of Kentucky.
Davis was the U.S. college player of the year after leading Kentucky to a national championship earlier this year and is a contender for the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team.
The NBA's annual lottery among non-playoff teams determines the top three picks of the draft, while the rest of the opening round goes in reverse order of win-loss records.
The Hornets, who ended the 2011-12 season with the league's third-worst record, landed the top pick despite being pegged to select fourth overall.
The Bobcats finished the season with a .106 winning percentage - the lowest in NBA history - and had a 25 percent shot at the top pick, while the Wizards had a 19.9 percent chance.
The NBA Draft will be held June 28 in Newark, New Jersey.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Nick Mulvenney)