The Washington Times - May 20, 2009, 04:39PM

The last time the Washington Wizards drafted fifth, they made a pretty good choice.

Of course, another team was doing the picking for them, so that might explain the success of that draft choice.

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The Wizards, who came up fifth in the NBA lottery selection process Tuesday night, last picked at number five in 2004

They selected point guard Devin Harris, who has become a very good NBA player, averaging 21.3 points per game and 6.9 assists this year for the New Jersey Nets.

Washington, though, was simply picking Harris for the Dallas Mavericks.The Wizards and Mavericks had a deal in place to trade Jerry Stackhouse, Christian Laettner and the number five pick in the draft that season, which was Washington’s. But because of several NBA rule complications involving the deal, the Wizards just couldn’t trade the pick. They had to make the selection and then trade the player to Dallas. They did so with Harris.

Washington should hope they get a player as good as Harris with the fifth pick this time around — particularly given the Wizards dismal draft history.

Duke’s Gerald Henderson would fit that bill.

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To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com