Cavs hit lottery for 2nd straight year

The Sports NetworkMay 20, 2014 

New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers haven't had much success on the court since LeBron James' infamous departure after the 2009-10 season.

They're turning into a dynasty, however, when it comes to the NBA Draft Lottery.

For the second straight year and third time in the last four drafts, the ever- fortunate Cavaliers will hold the No. 1 overall pick after overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to win Tuesday's lottery.

Cleveland had the third-best chance of vaulting to the top spot a year ago after finishing 24-58 during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. The Cavs claimed the coveted prize of the talent-rich 2014 draft despite a minuscule 1.7 percent chance of doing so.

It's only the second time under the current format, which was instituted in 1994, that the team with the ninth-best odds earned the No. 1 pick. Chicago emerged victorious in the 2008 lottery to secure the opportunity to grab future league MVP Derrick Rose.

Milwaukee and Philadelphia, which had the two worst records this past season, finished second and third, respectively, in Tuesday's drawing. The Bucks had a best chance of coming out on top at 25 percent, with the 76ers next at 19.9 percent.

The team holding the best odds has now failed to place first in 10 straight lotteries. Orlando was the last to accomplish the feat in 2004, the year the Magic nabbed Dwight Howard.

Both teams figure to be getting nice consolation gifts, however, in a draft considered be the most talent-heavy at the top since the bonanza 2003 edition, when the Cavaliers took James first overall and superstars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade all went in the opening five selections.

Though without a clear-cut favorite for this year's No. 1 choice, Kansas' tandem of forward Andrew Wiggins and center Joel Embiid and Duke forward Jabari Parker have all been hailed as potential cornerstone players by insiders.

The Cavaliers now hold the No. 1 pick for a record fifth time in the lottery era. In addition to landing James in 2003, Cleveland plucked All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving in 2011 and selected UNLV forward Anthony Bennett last year.

Cleveland also obtained the top choice following a trade with the 76ers in 1986, taking five-time All-Star center Brad Daugherty that year.

The biggest loser of this year's lottery turned out to be Detroit, which had a top-eight protected pick but wound up slotted ninth. As a result, the Pistons will have to surrender their first-rounder to the re-dubbed Charlotte Hornets as part of a 2012 trade that sent Ben Gordon to the then-Bobcats for Corey Maggette.

Cleveland's rise to the top slid Orlando down to No. 4 in the selection order, with the Magic followed by Utah, Boston, the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento, Charlotte and Philadelphia, which owns New Orleans' first-rounder from last year's draft-day deal involving guard Jrue Holiday going to the Pelicans.

This marks the first draft since 1966 that the Celtics and Lakers, two of the NBA's marquee franchises, will have single-digit picks.

Denver, which has a lottery pick for the first time since taking Anthony third overall in 2003, will choose 11th, with Orlando, Minnesota and Phoenix rounding out the lottery spots. The Magic hold the rights to the New York Knicks' selection.

The 2014 NBA Draft will be held at Brooklyn's Barclays Center on June 26.

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