Cavs lose coin flip, set to be in #5 spot heading into 2021 NBA Draft lottery

The first round of selections are shown during the 2019 NBA Draft. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
The first round of selections are shown during the 2019 NBA Draft. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers ended out the 2020-21 season well..not in a stellar fashion. Albeit the Cavs were uber-injury-riddled for much of the campaign, and even more so in the closing stretch of the now-past season, in fairness.

That included guys such as Darius Garland, for the most part in that closing stretch, Larry Nance Jr., Isaiah Hartenstein mostly, and Matthew Dellavedova, for instance. The Cavs did still have their share of inconsistencies game-to-game anyway, though.

But there was plenty of noticeable growth as the season wore on from the likes of Garland, Collin Sexton and others, and Isaac Okoro‘s close to the campaign, regardless of injuries to others, was particularly encouraging too. The on-ball and playmaking signs in those games jumped out for him then.

For the Cavaliers, any way you want to slice it, they again stumbled down the stretch, and lost 12 of their last 13.

Fortunately, in doing so, they did end up tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder for finishing out with the league’s fourth-worst record, and were/are set to enter the 2021 NBA Draft with an 11.5 percent chance to land the draft’s top pick, per Tankathon.

The Cavs were and would still be set to have a 45.1 percent chance of landing a pick in the top 4, for further context, as were the Thunder. With the two clubs tied for those aforementioned lottery odds, there was a coin flip set to be on Tuesday afternoon.

From there, the Cavaliers did not get lottery luck, if you will, in that case, and are set to be in the #5 slot heading into the draft lottery; that’s per the league and as h/t Jonathan Givony of ESPN/DraftExpress. If they end up with the fifth pick come the league’s June 22 draft lottery, that’d be the third straight season Cleveland would select there.

This wasn’t ideal for the Cavs, but we’ll see what shakes out.

From there, it would seem that the likes of Cade Cunningham (at #1), Evan Mobley, Jonathan Kuminga, Jalen Green and perhaps Jalen Suggs could be prospects in-play if Cleveland were to land a top 5 pick in the upcoming draft. Suggs I do have some doubt about for Cleveland, though.

From that point, if the Cavs ended up with a pick at say, numbers 5-8 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, I could very well see them go for guys such as Scottie Barnes, whose playmaking is very intriguing, to go with Jalen Johnson, Keon Johnson and/or maybe James Bouknight. And Kai Jones could be a player Cleveland could end up considering in that range as well.

Also for reference, after losing that coin flip against the Thunder on Tuesday, the Cavaliers are set to have their lowest potential selection being at #9. Cleveland, while again they have a 45.1 percent of landing a top 4 pick, has its greatest odds at picking either seventh (25.5 percent) or sixth (18.2 percent), again per Tankathon.

OKC, conversely, has a #8 selection as their selection floor, for what it’s worth, and the tiebreaker basically was in relation to the pick floor, in other words.

For the Wine and Gold, from a Cavs fan’s perspective, it does seem that they should be able to land an impact player in the upcoming draft, which is shaping up to be a loaded and also deep one.

That should help guys such as Garland, Sexton and Jarrett Allen, the latter two of whom, well at least for Allen, appear set to be locked up long-term this offseason.

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And we’ll ultimately see what plays out regarding their selection on July 29.