June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Dion Waiters (Syracuse), right, is introduced as the number four overall pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers have power with No. 1 pick

As you already well know, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be selecting first on June 27th in the 2013 NBA Draft. After selecting Kyrie Irving with the first pick and Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick in 2011 and Dion Waiters with the fourth pick and Tyler Zeller via trade with the 17th pick in 2012, the Wine and Gold will now look to add two more first rounders to their mix with the first overall pick and the 19th overall pick. To top it all off, the Cavaliers also have two picks in the second round. Things couldn’t have gone better for Cleveland last Tuesday night, and it all unraveled so quickly. When the Washington Wizards made it into the top 8 and catapulted into the top 3, Cavalier fans lost a little hope. Their team had way more of a chance of falling from three to five than moving up from three to one. Things seemed hopeless, but when Nick Gilbert was one of the last three standing, fortunes changed. Cleveland’s good luck charm delivered for the second time in three drafts. Will his luck be putting Nerlens Noel in a Wine and Gold uniform, or will Otto Porter be donning those colors? Either way, here is the order and chance of selecting first that each team had:

*1. Cleveland Cavaliers – 15.6 percent

2. Orlando Magic – 25 percent

3. Washington Wizards – 2.8 percent

4. Charlotte Bobcats – 19.9 percent

5. Phoenix Suns – 11.9 percent

6. New Orleans Pelicans – 8.8 percent

7. Sacramento Kings – 6.3 percent

8. Detroit Pistons – 4.3 percent

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – 1.7 percent

10. Portland Trail Blazers – 1.1 percent

11. Philadelphia 76ers – 0.8 percent

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Raptors) – 0.7 percent

13. Dallas Mavericks – 0.6 percent

14. Utah Jazz – 0.5 percent

And here is how the rest of the first round and full second round will look:

15. Milwaukee Bucks

16. Boston Celtics

17. Atlanta Hawks

18. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)

*19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Lakers)

20. Chicago Bulls

21. Utah Jazz (from Warriors)

22. Brooklyn Nets

23. Indiana Pacers

24. New York Knicks

25. Los Angeles Clippers

26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Grizzlies)

27. Denver Nuggets

28. San Antonio Spurs

29. Oklahoma City Thunder

30. Phoenix Suns (from Heat)

*31. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Magic)

32. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Bobcats)

*33. Cleveland Cavaliers

34. Houston Rockets (from Suns)

35. Philadelphia 76ers (from Hornets)

36. Sacramento Kings

37. Detroit Pistons

38. Washington Wizards

39. Portland Trail Blazers (from Timberwolves)

40. Portland Trail Blazers

41. Memphis Grizzlies (from Raptors)

42. Philadelphia 76ers

43. Milwaukee Bucks

44. Dallas Mavericks

45. Portland Trail Blazers (from Celtics)

46. Utah Jazz

47. Atlanta Hawks

48. Los Angeles Lakers

49. Chicago Bulls

50. Atlanta Hawks (from Rockets)

51. Orland Magic (from Warriors)

52. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nets)

53. Indiana Pacers

54. Washington Wizards (from Knicks)

55. Memphis Grizzlies

56. Detroit Pistons (from Clippers)

57. Phoenix Suns (from Nuggets)

58. San Antonio Spurs

59. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Thunder)

60. Memphis Grizzlies (from Heat)

So going into the 2013 NBA Draft, the Wine and Gold will own picks Nos. 1, 19, 31 and 33. That’s a pretty good crop, taken that many had false hope that Cleveland would even land where they were projected within the top 3. The writers here at Right Down Euclid debated whether or not Cleveland should be looking toward Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Georgetown small forward Otto Porter, a possible trade or another potential NBA star like Ben McLemore. Both Chris Manning and I agreed that Nerlens is the definite No. 1 pick for any team, Trevor Magnotti leaned more toward Nerlens but wouldn’t be opposed to drafting Porter and Dan Pilar was adamant on taking Porter to fill the void of a starting small forward. Either way, with the Cavaliers already announcing interest in taking Porter at No. 1, there will be speculation, hypotheses and rumors surrounding what Cleveland will do with the first pick. My advice to our front office is to confuse as many teams as possible. You are the first team to pick from the candy store before anyone else is let in, so don’t let the other teams know which treats you have your eyes set on first.

The excitement upon hearing that Cleveland received the No. 1 pick has not yet come down yet. I still can’t believe that this team was blessed with two No. 1 picks in the matter of three offseasons. I wasn’t a lottery conspiracist to begin with, but even this scenario is pretty nutty. I’m finding it hard to be satisfied with this pick, even though I was set on Nerlens from the start. There was a lot of pressure heading into this offseason, especially after the firing of Byron Scott and the late-game collapses that consumed most of the season. But now with having the No. 1 pick, things could get very interesting. Other than upping the allowance for his son Nick Gilbert, Dan Gilbert has a lot on his plate to offer and to showcase to outside players. Depending on what Cleveland does with their pick, they could end up attracting a starting small forward through free agency or a big man that could slide behind Tristan Thompson. The first pick dictates everything, though. Choose a big man, then we most likely won’t go for another at No. 19. Take Otto Porter, then we’ll have to beef up our frontcourt with picks Nos. 19, 31 and/or 33. If we trade down, then we might end up with a crafty veteran that would help mend the current youthful roster. The possibilities are endless with the power of having the first pick, but it could change our fortunes for the worst as well. Taking a player who won’t be on the court when the regular season begins is a huge risk that could leave Kyrie upset going into his contract season in 2014-15 if the team finishes around 25 or so wins this next season. Taking a player to be the replacement for LeBron who could come in right away and make an impact sounds like the smarter option, but the defensive problems may be too big for this team to pass on a dominant black hole in Noel, even though Porter plays great perimeter defense.

So leading up to the June 27th NBA Draft, we will constantly be jawing back and forth about what the Cavaliers will do with their picks. Trevor will continue to profile players, selling us on guys and warning us of others. Dan will stand firm regarding his comments about drafting Porter. Speculators will try to draw up complex trades that could net the Cavs a primed player. One week Otto will be the favorite, the next Nerlens. We can listen to what others have to say, but the Cavaliers will be as mysterious about who they will pick as possible. They have that power to exercise and will use it. What is known is that this is the most important Cavaliers offseason in recent memory, and they can’t biff on this pick. We have to surround Kyrie with the right players through the draft, and this may be their last chance with a high pick to do so.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Draft NBA Draft Lottery Nerlens Noel Otto Porter

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