For the second straight time and the third time in the last four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the first pick in the NBA draft.
The Cavs won the NBA lottery Tuesday night despite coming in with only a 1.7 percent chance of winning.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who had the league’s worst record and therefore the best chance at the top pick, will pick second, with the Philadelphia 76ers picking third. (Watch the broadcast of the lottery above.)
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Cavs Are Used to Picking First
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 21, 2014
The Cavs have had the top pick in three of the last 11 drafts. They’ve had pretty good results so far — especially in 2003, when they made one of the easiest decisions in NBA history and took LeBron James.
Cleveland also made good use of the top pick in 2011, when the team drafted eventual Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving. Last year’s top pick, Anthony Bennett, is a bit more of a project. He averaged only 4.2 points in 12.8 minutes per game as a rookie.
Cleveland, though, has been a big part of an interesting trend. As FiveThirtyEight.com’s Nate Silver points out, no team with the Number 1 since 1998 has won a title. The Cavs made it to the finals in 2007 but got swept by the San Antonio Spurs. That was the furthest they went in the LeBron James era, and when James left for the Heat prior to the 2010-11 season, the Cavs quickly became bad enough to be a perennial lottery team.
You'd rather win the NBA lottery than not. But since 1998, no team with the #1 overall pick has since won a title. http://t.co/upWEjtorIz
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) May 20, 2014
2. The Bucks Will Pick 2nd and 76ers Will Pick 3rd
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 21, 2014
The Bucks, who had a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery (the highest odds of the 14 teams), will pick second, while the Philadelphia 76ers will pick third. The Sixers, represented at the draft by Julius Erving came in with, a 19.9 percent chance of getting the first pick.
Here’s the full draft order:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Milwaukee Bucks
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Orlando Magic
5. Utah Jazz
6. Boston Celtics
7. Los Angeles Lakers
8. Sacramento Kings
9. Charlotte Hornets (via Detroit Pistons)
10. Philadelphia 76ers (via New Orleans Pelicans)
11. Denver Nuggets
12. Orlando Magic (via New York Knicks)
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Phoenix Suns
3. Kansas Teammates Andrew Wiggins & Joel Embiid Both Have a Shot to Be Picked First
— NBA (@NBA) May 20, 2014
4. Teams Want to Trade for Kevin Love
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 19, 2014
There’s has been a lot of buzz entering the lottery around Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love. The T-Wolves have been unable to reach a deal with Love on a long-term contract extension and are expected to listen to trade offers from teams that have high draft picks to order.
Love’s contract will run out after next year and teams are looking to grab him. The Celtics have shown particular interest in Love and have the advantage of 6th pick in the draft. The Celtics have no large, long-term contracts past 2016 giving Love more freedom.
A source close to Love told former Providence College coach Tim Welsh of CSNNE:
(Love) wants to play for an organization that’s going to be a winning organization; not necessarily I have to go to a championship team now, but a team that’s going to be built to move in that direction. Maybe it’ll take a couple years. That’s OK. But he needs a change from Minnesota.
Wolves owner Glen Taylor has said he does not plan to trade Love, but it has been indicated that teams could up their offers now that the draft order has been picked.
5. The Cavaliers Beat the Odds
— NBA (@NBA) May 21, 2014
Since NBA lottery moved to its current format in 1994, the team with (or tied for) best odds has won only 3 of 20 lotteries
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 20, 2014
Among teams that won the lottery, the Cavs were tied for having the second longest odds heading into the lottery, with the 2008 Chicago Bulls, who also had a 1.7 percent chance. The team that won the lottery with the longest odds was the 1993 Orlando Magic, which had only a 1.5 percent chance at the pick.
The longest odds overcome in the draft lottery was when the Charlotte Hornets won the third pick in the Draft despite having the best record among all non-playoff teams. They won a top three pick with .7 percent odds.
Only 16 of 30 NBA teams have ever won the lottery.
The Los Angeles Clippers have won five lotteries (two of them were conveyed to other teams in trades prior to the lottery). The Orlando Magic is second with three lottery wins, including two consecutive wins in 1992 and 1993. This was the only time in history the only time that a team won the lottery in two consecutive years until this year. Only three teams with the worst record went on to win the lottery and only four teams with the second worst record have won in the 24 years it has been a weighted lottery.
Here’s the breakdown of each team’s chances to win the top pick heading into the lottery:
1. Milwaukee Bucks 25 percent
2. Philadelphia 76ers 19.9 percent
3. Orlando Magic 15.6 percent
4. Utah Jazz 10.4 percent
5. Boston Celtics 10.3 percent
6. Los Angeles Lakers 6.3 percent
7. Sacramento Kings 4.3 percent
8. Detroit Pistons* 2.8 percent
9. Cleveland Cavaliers 1.7 percent
10. New Orleans Pelicans* 1.1 percent
11. Denver Nuggets (via New York Knicks) 0.8 percent
12. Orlando Magic (via Denver Nuggets) 0.7 percent
13. Minnesota Timberwolves 0.6 percent
14. Phoenix Suns 0.5 percent