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Hawks win NBA draft lottery; Wizards have No. 2 pick after worst season

CHICAGO – The Washington Wizards endured the ultimate heartbreak in last year’s NBA draft lottery, falling one ping-pong ball short of earning the right to select French phenom Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 pick.

History repeated itself on Sunday during this year’s lottery drawing, held at a Chicago convention center, when the Wizards were once again one ball away from the No. 1 pick, which surprisingly went to the Atlanta Hawks. This time, however, Washington secured the No. 2 spot, a consolation prize that significantly softened the blow in a year when there is no consensus on the top spot. The Houston Rockets won the right to pick third, and the San Antonio Spurs earned the fourth pick.