Cavaliers win lottery again, will pick No. 1
By Jason Lloyd
By Jason Lloyd
Akron Beacon Journal
(MCT) — There was a saying around the Cavaliers' offices called "2.8." That's the slim percentage the team overcame to win the draft lottery three years ago and draft Kyrie Irving, so 2.8 became a mantra around team employees that anything is possible.
Now they have a new number, 1.7, because the Cavs' stunning lottery luck is still rolling after turning a 1.7 percent chance into the No. 1 pick in next month's draft on Tuesday night. The Cavs become the first team to win the draft lottery in consecutive seasons and have now won three of the past four.
They are just the second team in the history of the lottery, joining the Chicago Bulls in 2008, to vault from ninth to the top spot in the draft.
"It's a really defining moment for us," Cavs General Manager David Griffin said.
This is considered one of the deepest drafts in years and the Cavs will now have their pick of everyone, including Duke's Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, both from Kansas.
It's believed the Cavs have ranked Parker at the top of their board most of the season, but Griffin said the Cavs' selection won't be limited to those three.
"We have to do a more thorough evaluation of all the guys to make sure we're not doing something too quickly," Griffin said. "Those three guys get the most hype because of their athleticism and upside. We'll focus on more than just those three."
By winning the lottery, the Cavs have positioned themselves in one of the league's most enviable positions this summer. They can keep the pick for themselves and take a franchise building block, or they can re-engage in the trade talks surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love.
The Cavs have privately felt throughout the season the Timberwolves would be forced to trade Love this summer and have spent the last couple of years acquiring the assets they believe it would take to land him. Of course, the top overall pick might be valuable enough to hold onto themselves.
Griffin didn't rule out a possible trade of the pick.
"We're very open minded to a lot of things," he said. "I'd trade me if it made us better. I'm not going to turn a blind eye to anything. âÇ¨¬¶ I don't want to limit our thinking right now."
As always, minority owner Jeff Cohen returned to the private room where the actual lottery numbers were drawn. Cohen has brought home lottery victories three of the four times he was in the room.
Griffin, however, replaced Nick Gilbert on the stage for the televised draft proceedings. He rubbed his lapel pin when it was revealed the Cavs had moved into the top three, then rubbed it again before realizing the Cavs had won the lottery. It was an angel pin from his grandmother, Dana, who died days after the trade deadline and a couple of weeks after he was named interim GM. He also wore Nick Gilbert's bow tie as a handkerchief in his suit jacket.
The Cavs also have a coach opening that just became much more appealing to candidates across the league, but Griffin said he's in no rush to fill the job.
"It makes us a more attractive destination than we already were," he said.
The winning number sequence that landed the Cavs the top pick was reportedly 13-7-9-14.