October 1, 2014

Medina
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NBA Draft lottery: Something new for the Cavaliers

INDEPENDENCE — The Cavaliers have won the NBA Draft Lottery twice in the last three years, but they’ll be changing their approach Tuesday when they make their fourth straight appearance.

Nick Gilbert, the son of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, has represented the team onstage the last three years, but father and son won’t be making the trip this time.

Instead, general manager David Griffin will represent the team onstage in New York, with minority owner Jeff Cohen backstage where the actual picks are drawn.

The Cavs, who had the ninth-worst record in the league at 33-49, have a 1.7 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick, a 2.0 percent chance of picking second and a 2.4 percent chance of selecting third. They can also pick ninth (81.3 percent), 10th (12.2 percent), 11th (0.4 percent) or 12th (miniscule).

The top player in the draft is widely considered to be Kansas small forward Andrew Wiggins, with Duke small forward Jabari Parker and Kansas center Joel Embid also in the conversation.

The next tier of players includes Kentucky power forward Julius Randle and Australian shooting guard Dante Exum, followed by power forwards Aaron Gordon (Arizona) and Noah Vonleh (Indiana).

If the Cavs stay at No. 9, players who could be available include point guards Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), shooting guards Gary Harris (Michigan State) and Nik Stauskas (Michigan), power forward Doug McDermott (Creighton) and small forward Rodney Hood (Duke).

Cleveland won the lottery in 2011 with a pick it acquired when it traded Mo Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers had the eighth-worst record in the league that season, but the 2.8 percent chance of getting the top pick hit the jackpot, leading to the selection of Kyrie Irving.

The Cavs’ own record (19-63) was the second-worst in the league that season, giving them a 19.9 percent chance at the top pick. They wound up selecting fourth with that pick and took Tristan Thompson.

In 2012-13, the Cavs’ 24-58 record was the third-worst mark in the league, but they won the lottery with a 15.6 percent chance and took UNLV’s Anthony Bennett.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook or follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.