Tuesday night is shaping up to be a big night in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise.
Of course the Cavaliers will be looking to even up the series with the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals but they have something extra on the agenda as well.
The Cavaliers will be in the NBA Draft Lottery for the first time since the 2014 edition. No they weren’t one of the 14 non-playoff teams who are participating in the lottery but they own the rights to the Brooklyn Nets pick which they acquired last August in the Kyrie Irving trade with Boston.
They currently sit with the 8th best odds in the draft lottery with a 2.8% chance of getting the #1 overall selection and a 9.9% chance of landing in the top 3.
The Cavaliers have had the eighth best odds twice in draft lottery history (2000 and 2011). In 2000, they ended up with the eighth pick and selected Jamal Crawford who was traded for Chris Mihm and in 2011 they got the first overall pick and selected Kyrie Irving.
Nick Gilbert, the son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is once again representing the team for the television broadcast of the lottery. This is Gilbert’s fourth time representing the team in this capacity and he’s brought some good luck with it in his previous stints.
In 2011, with a 2.8% chance of getting the pick (8th best odds) that Cleveland acquired in the Baron Davis trade, Cleveland won the draft lottery and eventually drafted Kyrie Irving who helped lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Championship in 2016.
In 2012, the Cavaliers had the third best odds but wound up with the fourth overall selection where they eventually selected Syracuse guard Dion Waiters.
In 2013, the Cavaliers had the third best odds but won the draft lottery once again and shocked the NBA world with the selection of Anthony Bennett who turned out to be a bust and was traded to Minnesota after one season.
Gilbert didn’t represent the team the last time the Cavaliers were in the lottery in 2014. The team sent David Griffin who was the general manager at the time with a 1.7% chance of getting the top pick which the Cavaliers did get and eventually selected Andrew Wiggins who was then traded with Bennett to Minnesota for Kevin Love a few months later.
So having Nick Gilbert represent the team brings us some luck when it comes to getting the top pick so hopefully lighting strikes for a third time in the Cavaliers favor come Tuesday night.
If the Cavaliers can land a top 8 selection, it could be great for the franchise in a number of scenarios. The prospects at the top of this draft class are very intriguing and could help the Cavaliers in the present state of the franchise as well as into the future.
Adding an athletic big like DeAndre Ayton of Arizona, Wendell Carter of Duke or Mohamed Bamba of Texas could help on the defensive end inside the paint as the Cavaliers have been lacking a presence inside since Timofey Mozgov.
Adding a point guard like a Trae Young of Oklahoma or Collin Sexton of Alabama could add another ball handler to the mix to take some pressure off Lebron James to create for others on the floor.
Or adding an athletic wing like a Luka Doncic of Slovenia, Michael Porter of Missouri or Mikal Bridges of Villanova could make lineups interesting with Lebron James playing more at the power forward position to let one of those guys take the small forward spot from Day 1.
Cleveland could also trade that pick which they wouldn’t be permitted to do until after they make the selection on draft night as they’ve already traded their own 2018 first round pick earlier this year in the Isaiah Thomas for Jordan Clarkson/Larry Nance Jr. trade.
If Lebron James commits to staying in Cleveland beyond this season, that pick depending on where it lands could be used in a package to land another star player like Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, Blazers guards Damian Lilliard and CJ McCollum or perhaps a blockbuster type trade for Pelicans big man Anthony Davis.
This pick is the key to the Cavaliers franchise going forward and it’ll be interesting where the ping pong ball falls for the Wine and Gold come Tuesday night.