NBA Draft Lottery 2012: Cleveland Cavaliers Must Land in Top Three
Things are looking up in Cleveland. Last year's No. 1 overall selection Kyrie Irving had a successful campaign that saw him take home rookie of the year honors and proved he is a player to build around. However, finding Irving a fellow star to run with will be pivotal in ensuring the long-term success of both Irving and the franchise.
The Cavaliers best chance to do that will be to land one of the top three picks in the 2012 draft.
Let's be honest here, Cleveland is one of the teams in the NBA that has to find their stars in the draft. Cleveland doesn't have the mild and warm winters of Dallas or Miami, they don't have the large markets of New York or Los Angeles and they don't have the championship pedigree of Boston, so it is never going to be the top destination for marquee free agents.
The likelihood of finding a star to pair with Irving through free agency simply doesn't exist.
Going the avenue of a trade doesn't look good either. Franchise players aren't often traded and, when they are, it generally includes a package of promising young players—something Cleveland either doesn't have or can't afford to do.
Without trading and signing free agents, that leaves only one option to beef up the roster with another star—the draft. That's why this year's lottery is huge for the Cavs.
In a draft that only has three players that could really impact the Cavs right away—Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal—the Cavs cannot afford to drop below the third pick.
If the Cavs do drop below, they could still get a solid prospectm albeit a more risky one such as Andre Drummond. Drummond could help the Cavs in a few years, but at that point Irving will have been with the team for four years and the Cavs will have missed out on three years of being a factor in the Eastern Conference.
If the Cavs want to continue the upward swing from the success of Irving last season, winding up in the top three will be essential.
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