May 21 2014, 3:26am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
According to the team's official website , this marks a great start in new general manager David Griffin's tenure as the team overcame a 1.7 percent chance to earn the No. 1 overall draft pick this year:
"Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and the team's new general manager, David Griffin, made no bones about not wanting to be back in the lottery this year. Tuesday night's results should soften the blow...
"When the Wine and Gold beat the odds in 2011 -- jumping up from the No. 8 spot with the Clippers' pick and a 2.8 percent chance to win the lottery -- it was a great stroke of luck.
"When the basketball gods smiled again in 2013, defying their 15.6 percent chance, it was pretty amazing. But winning it again on Tuesday night -- coming up from the No 9 slot with a 1.7 percent chance -- things just seem downright crazy.
"There's probably a more scientific, statistically-appropriate word for it. But when your odds of doing something are as astronomical as Cleveland's four-year run, you're talking Carl Sagan-sized numbers.
"And they add up to the Cavaliers winning the right to the draft's top pick for the third time in the past four years -- and the sixth time in franchise history.
"Nick Gilbert had famously represented the Cavaliers when they won it in 2011 and '13. On Tuesday night in New York, it was Griffin, with Nick's signature bowtie in his pocket for good luck. On the lapel of his coat, the new GM wore the angel pin of his grandmother, who passed away this past February.
"It was an incredible start for the man who was officially hired to be at the helm of the front office just eight days ago. In one month, he'll hold the No. 1 and No. 33 overall picks in the 2014 Draft.
"When Cleveland didn't pop up at nine, I knew obviously we had moved up and I had to gather myself for a second,' said Griffin. 'It's just a remarkable feeling.'"
Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Cleveland Plain Dealer notes the Cavaliers become just the second team in NBA history to win the No. 1 overall pick in consecutive years, following the Orlando Magic, who did it in 1992 and 1993.
The Magic selected LSU Tigers center Shaquille O'Neal in 1992 and Michigan Wolverines foward Chris Webber in 1993, per RealGM.com. Orlando traded Webber to the Golden State Warriors for Anfernee Hardaway and three future draft picks.
As for the Cavaliers, they selected Anthony Bennett first overall in 2013. Two years before that -- when they also had the No. 1 overall pick -- they drafted eventual All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
With the recent turn of events, Boyer says the Cavaliers are primed to make another move for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love. They are also in a good position to draft highly-touted Kansas Jayhawks forward Andrew Wiggins.
"The Cavs interest in Minnesota's Kevin Love is no secret. After winning the lottery last year, they offered the No. 1 pick, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson to Minnesota for Love. The Wolves weren't interested in that but this draft is much deeper.
"More important, Love reportedly has indicated that he's not interested in signing an extension in Minnesota. Since he can become a free agent in the summer of 2015 and leave the Wolves empty handed, they may be forced into trading him before then, even though they'd like to convince him to stay.
"The top players on nearly everyone's draft list this year are Andrew Wiggins, a 6-8 small forward from Kansas, Jabari Parker, a 6-8 forward from (the) Duke (Blue Devils), and Joel Embiid, a 7-0 center from Kansas."
Here are the draft lottery results, per Boyer:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Milwaukee Bucks
4. Orlando Magic
5. Utah Jazz
6. Boston Celtics
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit Pistons)
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from New Orleans Pelicans)
11. Denver Nuggets
12. Orlando Magic (from New York Knicks via Denver Nuggets)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Phoenix Suns
As indicated in the Cavaliers' official website, the Phoenix Suns have the most number of draft picks in the first round with three. The 76ers, Magic, Celtics, Hornets, Jazz and Chicago Bulls have two selections each.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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