The Cleveland Cavaliers have a history of crashing the NBA Draft Lottery.
Since and including LeBron James, the Cavaliers have somehow landed the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft Lottery four times in 19 years. James, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, and Andrew Wiggins have all been drafted first overall by the Cavs at some point since 2003. Funny enough, with Irving and Wiggins, they weren’t the favorite or even close.
Yahoo Sports listed the teams who had the least likely odds historically of landing the first overall pick in that given season and wouldn’t you know, in 2011 (Irving) and 2014 (Wiggins), the Cavs just had a 2.8% and 1.7% respectively of landing the first overall pick.
To pull off the miracle three-peat, the Cavs will need all the luck in the world as they currently just sit with 0.5% That seems unlikely that the Cavs would get the number one pick, right?. As Han Solo once said, “I know.”
It does seem unlikely, yet the Cavs and unlikely have been going hand in hand all year. It was unlikely they’d post a winning season, it was then unlikely that they miss the playoffs. Both things happened, but both weren’t good things.
So could the Cavs win the lottery, sure. It’s statistically possible. Will they? Find out.
Yet, we’re not talking about winning the lottery; we’re talking about just crashing the party. The odds of the Cavs getting a top-four draft pick to jump to 2.4%. I like those odds.
This team feels powered by fate. Something bigger than the norm, maybe even the Basketball Gods.
If The Cleveland Cavaliers land a Top 4 pick, draft, draft, draft!
I don’t care if the Cavs are deep somewhere. If you can get a guy like Chet Holmgren, you keep him. The best team of the last decade, The Golden State Warriors, have done most of their post-season damage with a homegrown team. The best team over the last 20+ seasons, the San Antonio Spurs, did most of their playoff damage with a homegrown team. The Chicago Bulls of the 90s? Homegrown.
The Cavs should want to look at these teams as the template and build a long-term competition plan. That means not trading away good players you draft for older players who you already know aren’t great.
That means if the Cavs get a pick between numbers four and number one in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft Lottery, then they need to swallow the pick and not let anyone near it. Don’t trade it for some near-30-year-old guy who has gaping holes in his game.
We nearly lost this pick for a guy just like that in Caris LeVert. We can’t afford to do that again.
Draft the pick. Even if it’s 14th overall in the draft. Draft the pick. Do not trade it.