The Cleveland Cavaliers were the big winners of NBA Lottery night last night, as they scooped the number one pick in next month’s NBA Draft.
With odds of just 1.7% of picking up the top selection, the outcome surprised many in attendance, not least the Cavaliers themselves. Better still for the franchise, this was their third time winning the right to select first overall in the last four years.
Cavaliers vice chairman Jeff Cohen was as surprised as anybody when his team secured the number one pick. “It seems surreal, this is three out of four years and we had a 1.7 percent chance of coming up with the first pick and we pulled it off again.”
In a season where the team had ideas of making the playoffs, their campaign quickly went off the rails, leading to a 33-49 record and another trip to the Lottery. Winning the right to select first does provide some sort of silver lining for the team though.
With their previous first picks, the Cavaliers selected point guard Kyrie Irving in 2011 and power forward Anthony Bennett is 2013. While Bennett’s career has yet to get going, Irving quickly turned into an All-Star and franchise player. His future with the team has come under some scrutiny lately however, with murmurings that he could yet leave the team when he becomes a free agent at the end of his four year rookie contract.
This year’s NBA Draft class is expected to be one of the most talented crop of college players to choose from in over a decade. Unlike previous years, there is as of yet no consensus number one pick that many teams hoped to land with the first pick. Many feel that any one of college standouts Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid could be selected first.