Once again the Cleveland Cavaliers have had the fortune of winning the NBA Draft Lottery. But a repeat in the Lottery in the space of only 3 Drafts isn’t the kind of record a franchise would like to keep.
Finishing in a position to get the first pick shouldn’t be the goal of an organisation in the beginning of the season, but rather a consolation and assist to getting better from the bad season the team must have had. This did not reign true for a team whose starting line-up this season mostly featured two rookies and the franchise player being a sophomore with the most experienced player having no more than 3 seasons under his belt.
In the last decade the Cavaliers have won/obtained three 1st Draft Picks. Two of which came in the last three years which happens to be the same space of time their 1st Pick from the 2003 Draft has not been with them (yes, I’m leading you here). For those that don’t remember the Cavs used their first pick in 2003 to draft LeBron James. And as mostly expected by the design of the lottery the team that won that first pick gained well from it, with the Cavs never going below .500 after James’s Rookie season where they only improved from their 17 win 2002-2003 season to 35.
The Cavs continued to build around their new franchise player in seasons to come as the franchise got closer to a championship even making it all the way to the finals in the 2006-2007 season, but ultimately getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs. After a few more unsuccessful runs came 2010 and the well documented ‘The Decision’ with the 2003 first pick free agent, who’d completed his contract, deciding not to continue his career as a Cav and taking his talents to South Beach.
Sure enough in their first season without James the Cavs plummeted right back down to their losing ways finishing that season with a 19 win record. This put them right back into the Lottery favourites pick where they managed to not only get their own pick in the top 5 which they used to get forward Tristan Thompson but being the “lucky” franchise they are the Orlando Magic pick which they acquired via trade came up 1st which they eventually used to pick Kyrie Irving. Now with a promising player to build around the Cavs had new hope post LeBron James. But the franchise once again did not bare fruit even with Irving earning the Rookie of the Year honours they finished the lockout shortened 66 game 2011-2012 season with a 21-45 record in 13th position in the Western Conference as their former star finally won his first Championship in Miami.
This bring us to this season where they weren’t much better finishing with a 24 win record in a full 82 game season. This of course landed them once again in a favourable Lottery position which they won. Question is: Do the Cavs really need all this “Luck”? Do they really need another Rookie in their roster? Who-ever they do choose on Draft night will feel real comfortable in a franchise which is starting to resemble a frat house filled with players who are in need of guidance by a veteran player or even a mildly experienced one. The Cleveland Cavalier franchise needs to channel all this Lottery fortune into some on court results.
See the NBA Draft order below:
Written By: Lebuhang Ramollo (@RA_Mollo)
Image Source: NBA