After a surprise-filled draft lottery on Tuesday night, the order is finally set for the first round of the 2014 NBA draft.
While some organizations left pleased with their selections, other teams struck out and were not able to grab the coveted pick they had hoped for. Nobody will know how it shakes out until June 26, but just by the lottery and the heap of talent at the top of this year's class, one can tell that a few teams missed out big time.
Let's break down the complete first-round order of the 2014 NBA draft.
|7||Los Angeles Lakers|
|21||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|28||Los Angeles Clippers|
|29||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|30||San Antonio Spurs|
Lottery Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
Nobody does draft lotteries like the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Despite building toward a playoff run entering this season, the Cavs fell short of the playoffs but only had a 1.7 percent chance of landing the top pick. Those odds came true when a Cleveland-clad Ping-Pong ball was selected at No. 1.
The Cavs' lottery win marked the second straight year—and the third time in the last four years—that the team won the draft lottery. Granted, all of those came after losing LeBron James, but three No. 1 picks are nothing to scoff at.
The Atlanta Hawks Twitter account fired a joke Wednesday regarding Cleveland's lottery success:
We just bought a lotto ticket...wish us luck. pic.twitter.com/2uiCXnGlkH— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) May 21, 2014
Cleveland took Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick in 2011, which seems to be panning out quite well. The same can't be said of 2013 top pick Anthony Bennett, but he showed enough late in the season to prove that you can't bury him just yet.
Along with Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao, the Cavs have perhaps the best young nucleus in the Eastern Conference and now have the chance to add a world-class player and future superstar to the mix.
Unlike last year, Cleveland has its choosing of future star players. Whether it's plugging Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker in on the wing to give the Cavs another scoring punch or drafting Joel Embiid to anchor the frontcourt, the options are out there for owner Dan Gilbert and company.
Lottery Loser: Los Angeles Lakers
After the worst season in Lakers history, you thought maybe—just maybe—the basketball gods would reward L.A. in this rare visit to the draft lottery.
The Lakers landed the seventh overall pick in the draft, and former L.A. legend James Worthy—who represented the team at the draft lottery—was left disappointed when his team didn't pop up in the top five.
"When you're sitting over there, you're just a sitting duck waiting," Worthy told ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "You're a little nervous. My heart started pounding a little bit when it got to 8. But then when it came up at 7, I was like, 'Damn.'"
Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell was quick to color the situation a bit less gloomy:
The Lakers will expect to get a good player at No. 7. In this specific draft year, they've liked the depth well through that slot.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) May 21, 2014
There's no doubting that the Lakers could end up landing a stud with the seventh overall pick and someone to develop throughout the next few years. But considering the possibilities of picking No. 1, 2 or 3, it's certainly not what Los Angeles had hoped for.
There's still likely to be players such as Marcus Smart, Noah Vonleh and maybe Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle to choose from, and no player in that caliber would be a bad haul at No. 7 by any means.
But the Lakers had high hopes of pairing Kobe Bryant up with his future successor, and that probably isn't happening with the seventh pick.
Plus, for a team that hoped to use a high lottery pick as bait to land a big-time coach, No. 7 isn't the most attractive pick in the world—even in a draft this deep.