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University of Kentucky freshman playmaker Anthony Davis is expected to be taken by the New Orleans Hornets with the top selection in Thursday's NBA Draft.

The Charlotte Bobcats, meanwhile, will be happy with any help they can get from the second overall pick as the club owned by retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan comes off the worst season in NBA history, a woeful 7-59 campaign.

The annual allocation of top unclaimed talent by NBA teams allows teams that finished worst to have the top choice of young talent, a bid to help create parity and provide hope to struggling clubs such as the Hornets and Bobcats.

New Orleans made moves to prepare for signing the hottest young prospect, sending forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to Washington in a trade to escape long-term salaries.

Rashard Lewis, whom they obtained in the deal, will likely be cut to save money under NBA salary cap rules as well, adding more money with which to sign Davis, last season's US collegiate player of the year.

The Bobcats, who lost their final 23 games of last season, had a .106 win percentage that was worse than the 65-year-old NBA futility mark of 9-73 by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who managed a .110 win percentage.

Charlotte had the best odds of keeping the top pick in the NBA Draft Lottery last month but lost out to the Hornets.

Washington will select third followed by Cleveland, Sacramento, Portland, Golden State, Toronto and Detroit. The Hornets also pick 10th.


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