Again? Cleveland Cavaliers win 2014 NBA draft lottery

May 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Former Kansas teammates Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid both think they deserve to be the No. 1 pick in next month’s NBA draft.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be the team to make that decision after shockingly winning the NBA draft lottery for the second consecutive year and third time in four years.

The Cavaliers had a 1.7% chance to win the No. 1 pick but outbid the league’s two worst teams, the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, who fell to second and third in the lottery process.

Cleveland general manager David Griffin, who represented the team, labeled the lottery fortune as a “defining moment.” The Cavaliers have had a lot of those lately. Last year, they selected Anthony Bennett out of UNLV first overall. In 2011, they took All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving first. Now the next move for the franchise will be finding a coach. Cleveland fired Mike Brown at the beginning of the month after just one season in his second stint coaching the team.

“Whoever gets the job is going into a great situation,” NBA analyst Doug Collins said of the Cavaliers’ coaching vacancy. “They have the talent, but it didn’t fit. They have to put together a team where the pieces fit.”

The Orlando Magic nabbed the fourth pick, while the Utah Jazz rounded out the top five. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the league’s most storied franchises, nabbed the sixth and seventh picks.

One interesting quirk: The Cavaliers’ jump meant the Detroit Pistons fell to No. 9, giving the pick to the newly renamed Charlotte Hornets because the pick had top-eight protection.

It’s unclear who will be the top pick in this year’s star-studded class. Wiggins and Embiid are both trying to become the first No. 1 pick from Kansas since Danny Manning in 1988, while Duke small forward Jabari Parker is also considered a potential top pick.

“Being a competitor, I think I should go No. 1,” Wiggins told USA TODAY Sports. “If I don’t go No. 1, I want it to be Joel.”

“I want to be Rookie of the Year,” Embiid said of his future goals. “I want to be a Hall of Famer.”

When asked where he wanted to start his career, Embiid was quick to say “Los Angeles.” His mindset may change now.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said this draft class will “have a special place in my heart” with next month’s draft being his first since taking over for David Stern. Silver has spent the last month answering questions about embattled owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life after a racist audio recording surfaced but said the NBA’s best days have yet to come.

Five days after investment firm executives Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry officially became the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, the franchise inched another step closer to starting a new era with the second overall pick. The Bucks, who lost 67 games last season, had a 25% chance of getting the coveted ping pong ball.

“As much attention that has been focused on Mr. (Donald) Sterling, Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry show we have an incredible group of owners,” Silver said of the Bucks’ new owners.

This year’s draft class is also one of the deepest in recent memory, with Australian point guard Dante Exum, Kentucky’s Julius Randle, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh all projected top 10 picks who could help turn around programs.

“Any player in the top 10 can change your team tremendously,” ESPN Jay Bilas said.

The full first-round order:

  • 1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2. Milwaukee Bucks
  • 3. Philadelphia 76ers
  • 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
  • 15. Atlanta Hawks
  • 16. Chicago Bulls (from Charlotte Hornets)
  • 17. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets)
  • 18. Phoenix Suns (from Washington Wizards)
  • 19. Chicago Bulls
  • 20. Toronto Raptors
  • 21. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Dallas Mavericks via Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers)
  • 22. Memphis Grizzlies
  • 23. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors)
  • 24. Charlotte Hornets (from Portland Trail Blazers
  • 25. Houston Rockets
  • 26. Miami Heat
  • 27. Phoenix Suns (from Indiana Pacers)
  • 28. Los Angeles Clippers
  • 29. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • 30. San Antonio Spurs
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