Created on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 Written by BOB FINNAN rfinnan@MorningJournal.com @BobCavsinsider,writer
The Cavaliers have been in the lottery four times since 2003. Twice they’ve earned the No. 1 pick.
They’ll find out at 8:25 p.m. tonight if they’ve accomplished that feat once again. They head into the 29th annual event with the third best odds of the top pick, a 15.6-percent chance.
Orlando has the best odds of the No. 1 pick, a 25-percent chance, followed by Charlotte at 19.9.
The lottery will determine the order of the first 14 picks in the June 27 NBA draft. It will be televised live by ESPN.
The Cavs won the lottery in 2003 and earned the right to draft high school phenom LeBron James. Despite an unprecedented trip to the NBA Finals in 2007, James left via free agency in 2010.
Eight years after getting James, they once again earned the top pick. They used it on Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, now a star in the making.
If they get lucky on Tuesday, they’d likely select Kentucky forward/center Nerlens Noel (6-foot-11 3/4, 206 pounds), ranked No. 1 on most teams’ draft boards.
He’s sidelined until about December after tearing his ACL. Still, the Cavs would be excited to add him to their stable of big men that already includes Anderson Varejao, Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and — for now — Marreese Speights, who has a player option on his 2013-14 contract.
Noel is a defensive specialist who would give the Cavs something they don’t currently have — a major shot-blocker. He blocked a school-record 12 shots in a game against Ole Miss this season.
If the Cavs get the No. 2 pick, they would consider drafting Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore (6-4 3/4, 189) or possibly Georgetown small forward Otto Porter (6-8 1/2, 198).
Porter appears to be the possible pick if they remain at 3. He would fill an obvious need at small forward.
If they drop a spot or two, the Cavs supposedly covet Maryland center Alex Len (7-1, 255), who is currently on crutches after having surgery on his ankle.
The lowest the Cavs could draft is No. 6, but it’s highly unlikely three teams would pass them in the lottery.
Nick Gilbert, the 16-year-old son of Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, will represent the team on stage at the Disney/ABC’s Times Square Studios in New York. Nick Gilbert was on stage wearing a bowtie when the Cavs got the No. 1 pick in 2011.
Cavs minority owner Jeff Cohen will be back stage to view the actual drawing.