Lottery kind to Cavs, but hard to see more of same

Kyrie Irving is one of three recent No. 1 picks the Cavaliers have had thanks to the draft lottery. Will there be a fourth this year? 

Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft Lottery has been quite kind to the Cavaliers.

In fact, you could make the case that when it comes to the Cavs, the lottery is where they’ve been luckiest.

Three years ago, they won with what should’ve been the No. 8 overall pick — obtained in a trade with the Clippers. That pick became Kyrie Irving.

Last year, the finished with the league’s third-worst record, then won the lottery again (eventually using the choice on Anthony Bennett).

And, of course, they won it in the LeBron James sweepstakes in 2003. But for a variety of reasons, Cavs fans would just as soon forget that bygone era.

About the only time the Cavs haven’t had much success in the modern lottery was 2012. That’s when they WON a coin flip to increase their odds over the Pelicans. Then the Pelicans won the lottery to draft Anthony Davis. Had the Cavs LOST that coin flip … well, you get the idea.

Who's No. 1? For NBA's worst, that is the question

This year, things don’t seem nearly so sunny.

For one, the Cavs didn’t even want to be back here. The fact they are resulted in the firings of general manager Chris Grant and coach Mike Brown.

Secondly, the Cavs finished with the ninth-worst record, meaning they have just a 1.7 percent chance of nabbing a top pick Tuesday. The last time the Cavs finished with the ninth-worst record (2004), they drafted 10th. Interestingly, that was also the last time the team with the worst overall record actually won the lottery (Magic).

So there are no lottery parties this year. Owner Dan Gilbert nor his son Nick will be in attendance. The Cavs didn’t bring a media contingent. They will instead be represented by new GM David Griffin on the stage, and chairman Jeff Cohen in the room where the ping-pong balls are actually drawn.

It’s a low-key affair for the Cavs, and frankly, that’s the best approach. Forget how friendly the lottery has been. Gilbert and his gang would much to prefer to move on from this little slice of excitement.

But the Cavs are here, and they’ll be keeping their fingers crossed just the same. With the likes of Duke forward Jabari Parker, Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins and Kansas big man Joel Embiid, this is considered a deep draft with loads of immediate-impact types.

The Cavs could use that type of guy. And if they have to play the lottery again to get him, well, that’s just the way it is. Again.

(Side note: The Cavs have a 2 percent chance at the No. 2 overall pick, a 2.41 percent chance at No. 3, an 81.3 percent chance at No. 9, and a 12.1 percent chance at No. 10.)

Follow on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO