There aren’t many teams in the history of the NBA that have had worse luck than the Cleveland Cavaliers. Craig Ehlo getting posterized by Michael Jordan looked like nothing in comparison to the acts of last offseason, as LeBron James, the savior of the franchise, took his toys and went to the Miami Heat. The Heat are on the verge of potentially winning an NBA Championship. The Cavs are coming off of a season in which they broke the record for the most consecutive losses, and they ended with the second worst record in the league.
However, there is now a little bit of glimmer and hope in Cleveland once more. The Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. The miracle about the whole thing is that the pick that Cleveland won the Lottery with actually wasn’t its own. It traded with the Los Angeles Clippers right at the trade deadline to pick up that pick. The Clip Joint don’t have a first rounder now. Maybe there’s a team cursed more so than Cleveland after all…
With the Minnesota Timberwolves picking second in the draft, missing out on a chance to be able to snare the top pick, Cleveland’s original pick became the first to not end up in the Top 3. That being said, the Cavs also have the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft this summer as well.
The biggest question in Cleveland is whether the Cavaliers are going to be taking Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams with that top selection. It really doesn’t seem like there is a tremendous pick, and unless there is a team out there that absolutely has fallen in love with one or the other and is willing to trade up, it seems as though the Cavs are basically taking a shot in the dark. They need five fresh starters and virtually everyone on the bench as well, and Head Coach Byron Scott knows it. Irving would immediately come in and be the captain of the team from the point guard spot, but we aren’t so sure that he is capable of filling that role after basically playing a half season at Duke.
So instead, Williams might be the better bet. He’s going to have to transition his game just a bit from what he was used to at Arizona, but Williams has some big time potential as both an inside and an outside threat. If Cleveland wants a guard, it could also take someone like Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker at No. 4.
Minnesota figures to take the other of Irving or Williams, though it could shy away from Irving and take Enes Kanter or Jan Vesely if that’s what it comes to after drafting a slew of point guards two years ago.
The Utah Jazz lucked out and snuck into the front of the Draft Lottery as well at No. 3 overall, a position that will be coveted for a team that badly needs to find some new stars after watching its team blown to bits in the middle of this season. This pick would have belonged to the New Jersey Nets had they not traded it to Utah this year in the move that brought Deron Williams to the Garden State.
The rest of the first round that is set already, starting at No. 5 is the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz again, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.