After LeBron James bolted for South Beach, the Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA Draft Lottery and received the top pick in the NBA Draft three of the last four years. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
Cleveland has been atrocious since King James left, don’t get me wrong, but the odds of the Cavs stealing the top pick three out of four years is astronomical. If the NBA didn’t have such a stellar reputation of specifically not fixing the lottery with frozen letters and not rewarding teams owned by the league or teams in large media markets with first overall picks in the past, I’d think the draft lottery was fixed and have a hundred other different conspiracy theories about how the NBA was corrupt for the last 30 years.
Oh wait, that’s what I do think!
While I’m skeptical of almost all “coincidences” that have to do with the NBA draft, I can’t imagine why the NBA would want to give Cleveland the top pick AGAIN! After LeBron ditched town, Dan Gilbert made a joke of himself, the organization, and the NBA with his Comic Sans rant about LeBron. Obviously, the NBA had to throw Cleveland a bone after the King left, and Cleveland was rewarded with Kyrie Irving. That should have been it.
Instead, Cleveland has had four top-4 picks in the draft in the last four seasons, will be hiring their third head coach in three seasons, and just fired their GM Chris Grant during the last season. That’s a dumpster fire. Cleveland has been a dumpster fire for four seasons, and they are rewarded with the top pick in the NBA for the third FREAKING time in the last four years.
I’m not even mad. It’s just hilarious. I’m disgusted, but in a way that I can see the hilarity in the whole situation, like I would at a guy who farts in a crowded elevator. Obviously, I’d want to throw up because it smelled so bad, but at the same time, all I could do is laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Congratulations, Cleveland Cavaliers, you are the NBA’s version of the guy who farts in a crowded elevator.
While it was incredibly absurd when the Cavs won the lottery, the most absurd aspect of the whole situation swept the internet and Twitter directly afterward. Because the Kevin Love debate is the “hot sports take” of the minute, everyone started throwing Love in a trade between Minnesota and Cleveland. WHAT?!
I understand the appeal of trying to play fantasy basketball with the actual players- trust me, I spend way too much time on ESPN’s Trade Machine. But, let’s be a little bit realistic here, Love isn’t signing with Cleveland. They are a dumpster fire! Oh, and while I’m at it, LeBron James isn’t coming back to Cleveland- sorry, Cavs fans. So let’s take a chill pill with the Love rumors, he’s not Dwight Howard.
At this point, Cleveland can only get better. Unfortunately for them, everyone has been saying that for four years and the situation really hasn’t improved at all. Having the top pick in the NBA Draft is the best position to be in, but a lot of pressure and expectation goes along with that pick. The Cavs definitely CAN NOT mess this pick up.
So, who are the Cavs going to take?
It’s a fairly simple choice. The Cavs have to choose between Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins. As their roster is currently constructed, the Cavs don’t need backcourt help or the small/power forward combo player. That eliminates Dante Exum, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, and Jabari Parker from consideration.
All of those players are going to be good NBA players, but the Cavs have already used high draft picks on current players, like Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, and Dion Waiters. The Cavs must decide whether those three players are part of the future. If they are, their pick has to be Embiid or Wiggins. Those are the only two positions they have room for.
The idea of an Embiid-Irving combo is exciting to me. With LeBron James and Kevin Durant, the future of the NBA might be a wing’s game, but guys like Embiid don’t come around more than once or twice per generation. Embiid’s athleticism and skill set is the perfect fit for today’s NBA. He’s got the length and ability to block shots, but he’s also coordinated enough to run the floor and make midrange jump shots. Embiid is the real deal. If the Cavs pass on Embiid, it will be a major mistake.
Although Cleveland stole the show on Draft Lottery Night, other teams have reasons to be excited for the future. Milwaukee has the second pick in the draft and could take any one of the top-5 players due to needs at almost every position.
Other than Cleveland, the most interesting team of the night was the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia snagged the third pick and the tenth pick (from New Orleans) in the draft, which they will partner with Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams next season. The 76ers at least have a plan in place for the future, which is honestly more than you can say about the Cavs or the Bucks at this point. If Wiggins slides past Milwaukee, Philadelphia will surely grab him with the third pick. Jabari Parker or Julius Randle would also fit very well in Philadelphia, if they are also available when the 76ers choose third. Based on who they choose third, I could see Philly taking a shooter like James Young or Doug McDermott to try and add some fire power to the lineup. Last season was horrible for Philadelphia fans, but the future looks very bright. In a few years, the 76ers could be one of the top teams in the East.
Quick Shout-Out! I want to apologize to Lakers fans and Celtics fans for not writing anything about your teams. Unfortunately, both your teams landed outside the top-3, which, by default, eliminated your teams from acquiring Kevin Love prior to the NBA Draft. I was a little disappointed, too. I was secretly rooting for the Lakers and Celtics to grab one of the top three picks, so I could write about a trade for Love. Don’t worry, I’ll get over it. Love isn’t being traded anyway, at least not until next season, because Minnesota has no idea what they should do.