The Cleveland Cavaliers are winning under J.B. Bickerstaff but the Cavs need to finish with a truly bad record to keep their draft pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are clicking, and coach J.B. Bickerstaff has the squad moving forward since the departure of former head coach John Beilein. The team is currently 4-1 in their last five and playing their best ball all year. The team is currently 17-41 going into their Friday night game with the New Orleans Pelicans and have no hope of getting to the playoffs.
There is a chance, however, that the team could lose their first-round draft pick if the team falls outside of the top 10 of the NBA Draft Lottery. With the team already so far out of the playoffs, should Bickerstaff be trying to win games? That may seem controversial but the team has all of 17 wins, and there are only 24 games left for the season. The team could do a lot of damage to their future if they finish outside of that protected draft pick slot.
The interesting thing is that Kevin Love thinks the team is clicking, saying the squad’s camaraderie is ‘through the roof’, according to WKYC.com. Will the team continue to click like this going into the 2020-2021 season or is this just a flash in the pan for the squad?
That brings us to the big question, what ‘s more important; maintaining that draft pick or developing the team’s chemistry? Right now the Cavs are tied for the 5th worst record in the NBA, so it’s still incredibly likely that the Cavs not only keep their pick but could still see it in the top five.
Unless they keep winning.
This may seem like a counter-productive stance to want the team to keep losing, but with the team still actively trying to rebound from the LeBron-era of bad trade deals and even worse contracts, keeping every draft pick is imperative.
While the winning may hurt the team’s chance to keep their draft pick, one thing should be noted and it’s that Love has helped the team bond. Talking to former teammate Channing Frye on NBATV’s Handles on Wednesday, Love said;
"Ever since I came here in ’14-’15, [LeBron James] had us all going [out] on the road. So we’ve continued that — I wouldn’t even call it a tradition, it’s just something that we do on the road. We try to get everybody together.…We all break bread, eat together, drink a ton of wine. That camaraderie is really through the roof. I think that’s what you have to show the young guys early on."
The team is winning and that may hurt the chances of this team keeping its draft pick but if the team does lose that pick, at least they found a way to bond. If they’re able to bond and continue this growth, maybe they won’t need the 2020 draft pick. Maybe they won’t need to shake up the roster too much. If that’s the case, then great.
Let’s hope that’s the case.