With no consensus top prospect in this year's NBA draft class, we still don't know for sure who will go No. 1. But after Tuesday night's lottery, we at least know who will be making the selection.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had just the third-best chance (15.6 percent) for the top pick, proved to have the odds ever in their favor, making a little history in the process:
Cavaliers are the 1st team to pick No. 1 twice in a 3-year span since the Magic in 1992-93.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 22, 2013
The Cavaliers and Rockets have had the most No. 1 picks in the "Common Draft era" (since 1966)-- 5 each— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 22, 2013
And if they're lucky, this time around will work out a fraction as well as a certain player they drafted 10 years ago at the same spot:
Ten years ago, the Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery that landed them LeBron James.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) May 22, 2013
Their other recent top selection, Kyrie Irving, wasn't too shabby, either.
Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic (25.0 percent) and Charlotte Bobcats (19.9 percent) entered the night with better probabilities, but were saddled with the No. 2 and 4 picks, respectively.
On the contrary, the Washington Wizards made the biggest jump, going from a projected No. 8 to No. 3.
Here's a look at the complete results and first-round outlook.
Official 2013 Lottery Results
|Pick||Percent Chance at Top Pick|
|6||New Orleans Pelicans||8.8|
|10||Portland Trail Blazers||1.1|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder (via Toronto Raptors)||0.7|
Rest of 2013 NBA Draft Order
|18||Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets)|
|19||Cleveland Cavaliers (from Miami Heat, swapped with No. 30)|
|21||Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors)|
|24||New York Knicks|
Los Angeles Clippers
|26||Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies)|
|28||San Antonio Spurs|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||Phoenix Suns (from Los Angeles Lakers, swapped with No. 19)|
Pre-Lottery Pageantry and Anticipation
The draft lottery has become something of a flashy event, attracting stars like Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, fellow rookies Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond and even Kevin Love to hopefully bring good luck to their respective teams.
Heck, even Cleveland-based rapper Machine Gun Kelly was there to take it all in in with extravagant Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his son Nick:
I think it's safe to say he'll be invited to a few games after bringing this sort of good fortune.
The best part of it all might have been the major buzz that started early Tuesday morning and had people putting the odds in, well, more hilarious terms.
First, Hickory High's Ian Levy put Dallas' 0.6 percent chance of landing the top pick in terms of Dirk Nowitzki's free-throw shooting:
The odds that the Magic win the lottery tonight are worse than Dwight Howard making consecutive free throws (25% vs. 33%). So there's that.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) May 21, 2013
Of course, as we all know by now, that is just far too rare of an event, as the Magic failed to secure the top selection.
Still, not everyone was quite as excited with the process leading up to the draft order announcement:
The NBA draft lottery is so stupid. No team is tanking. The team with the worst record should have the top pick. #logic— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) May 21, 2013
How the Lottery Affects the Draft
While there are several options for the No. 1 pick, Nerlens Noel has always been viewed as the most likely to hear his name called first.
With the Cavaliers now on the clock, that notion is only enforced (via Draft Express' Jonathan Givony):
Cleveland needs a small forward, but with Varejao so injury prone and just with one more year on his deal Nerlens Noel fits well there— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 22, 2013
Many believe that the uber-athletic and sweet-shooting Ben McLemore could also be an option, but with Dion Waiters already entrenched at the 2, that's unlikely.
Besides, reports suggest he isn't even in Cleveland's top three:
As things stand today Cleveland's board stands at Noel, Porter, and Len in that order. Noel makes Varejao more expendable.— Probasketballdraft (@Probballdraft) May 22, 2013
Noel's ACL knee injury is going to scare some off, but as HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy suggests, Cleveland is preparing for the future anyways:
Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson and Nerlens Noel is going to be a great lineup in 2014-15.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 22, 2013
Add in a top pick for the Cavs from the stacked 2014 draft as well? We are still a long ways away from that, and it's merely a hypothetical, but oh my.
Don't feel bad for the Magic, either, who will still likely get the guy they wanted all along:
Orlando can take McLemore second now. Might have traded rights to No. 1 since they already have Vucevic— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 22, 2013
Still, their biggest position of need is at point guard, so don't immediately dismiss electrifying Michigan point guard Trey Burke at No. 2 overall. ESPN's Chad Ford certainly won't:
Mock Draft 3.0 coming.Sneak peak at Top 5.1. Cavs - Noel 2. Magic - Burke 3. Wizards - Porter 4. Bobcats - McLemore 5. Suns - Oladipo— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 22, 2013
If that happens, the Wizards, who drafted Bradley Beal last year, could just as easily pass on McLemore, although it's difficult to imagine someone with his superstar potential dropping out of the top three.
Wait, wasn't the lottery supposed to clear things up?