With the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery taking place on Wednesday afternoon at Times Square, New York with the results being announced later on at 8 p.m. on ESPN, just before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. A night that sealed LeBron James’ place in Cleveland (for a short time) with the No. 1 pick in 2003 and brought the new hometown hero Kyrie Irving with, again, the first pick in 2011, the Cavaliers have had recent success (and some luck) in the NBA Draft Lottery.
With that said, the Cavaliers have the third-best chance at winning the lottery this year after going 21-45 in the 2011-12 NBA season. What many fans deemed as “tanking,” the Cavaliers, after losing any chance they had at making the playoffs after numerous injuries and the Ramon Sessions trade, showed little effort on the court. The lack of effort had the Cavaliers slowly creeping up the ladder to a better chance of landing the top pick in the draft.
After the season was pretty much lost fans were cheering for the Cavaliers to rest their star players for the remainder of the season, increasing their odds of winning the lottery with each demoralizing and embarrassing loss. A “smart” move by the organization kept Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson and Irving from further injuring their run-down bodies, and also moved them to a more desirable position with each ping pong ball added to the hopper.
Just like last year, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s son Nick Gilbert will be present at the draft and will hopefully bring the same good luck that helped land the No. 1 and 4 picks in the 2011 draft. His slogan “What’s not to like?” captured the Cleveland spirit following the drawing of the ping pong balls in 2011. According to a release from 2012PickNick.com, Cavaliers Vice-Chairman Jeff Cohen will represent the Cavaliers in the lottery room.
Also representing Team Cavs with Dan, Nick and Cohen will be Nick’s younger brother, Cavaliers Vice-Chairman Nate Forbes, Cleveland Browns players Josh Cribbs and Joe Haden, Browns legend Bernie Kosar and Irving.
A team should never really be happy with having such high odds at winning the NBA Draft Lottery two years in a row, but the Cavaliers could be in a playoff-ready position if the ping pong balls bounce in their favor tonight. Cleveland could once again become a relevant basketball team only two years after losing possibly the best player to ever wear a Cleveland uniform.
Once we find out where the 14 lottery picks will land in the first round then we will have a better idea of who the Cavaliers will choose. Until then check out the odds of all 14 picks that will be determined tonight below:
1. Charlotte Bobcats – 25 percent (chance at top pick)
2. Washington Wizards – 19.9 percent
3. Cleveland Cavaliers – 13.8 percent
4. New Orleans Hornets – 13.7 percent
5. Sacramento Kings – 7.6 percent
6. Brooklyn Nets or Portland Trail Blazers – 7.5 percent
7. Golden State Warriors or Utah Jazz – 3.6 percent
8. Toronto Raptors – 3.5 percent
9. Detroit Pistons – 1.7 percent
10. New Orleans Hornets (via Minnesota Timberwolves) – 1.1 percent
11. Portland Trail Blazers – 0.8 percent
12. Milwaukee Bucks – 0.7 percent
13. Phoenix Suns – 0.6 percent
14. Houston Rockets – 0.5 percent
Stay tuned to Right Down Euclid for NBA Draft Lottery reactions and mock drafts