The Cleveland Cavaliers won the contest of the bouncing lottery balls last night, securing the number one pick in the NBA Draft on June 27th. Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is the likely number one pick:
Ten years after winning the lottery that landed them LeBron James, the Cavaliers picked up another opportunity to help speed up the rebuilding process since his departure to Miami in 2010.
The potential No. 1 pick this year, Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, is no James. But he could be a nice addition for the Cavs once he’s recovered from a torn ACL — if they keep the pick. They also have Nos. 19, 31 and 33 for new coach Mike Brown, who they rehired after firing Byron Scott following a 24-58 season.
“We were hoping regardless of what pick we got that this would be our last lottery,” Dan Gilbert said. “We thought originally after everything had to be reset that it would be a three-year process. You never know. It could be four. We thought three years, but having No. 1 and 19, we’ve got a pretty good chance of this being the last one for a while.”
Noel would be a nice addition to a team that has suffered since the loss of LeBron James. The cupboard is not bare in Cleveland as former rookie of the year Kyrie Irving is a budding NBA superstar running the point. Noel would provide a nice inside-outside game for the Cavs and his defense would provide an immediate impact.
But it isn’t certain that he will fill the needs of the Cavs. Depending on what owner Dan Gilbert and coach Mike Brown want, he could fall to the Washington Wizards at number three and play with fellow former Wildcat John Wall. The Orlando Magic have the second pick but are unlikely to draft Noel.
Make no mistake, Nerlens will be drafted in the top five.
Here is the draft order:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Orlando Magic
3. Washington Wizards
4. Charlotte Bobcats
5. Phoenix Suns
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
10. Portland Trail Blazers
11. Philadelphia 76ers
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Toronto Raptors)
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. Utah Jazz
15. Milwaukee Bucks
16. Boston Celtics
17. Atlanta Hawks
18. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston Rockets)
19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Los Angeles Lakers)
20. Chicago Bulls
21. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors)
22. Brooklyn Nets
23. Indiana Pacers
24. New York Knicks
25. Los Angeles Clippers
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis Grizzlies)
27. Denver Nuggets
28. San Antonio Spurs
29. Oklahoma City Thunder
30. Phoenix Suns (from Miami Heat)
One Wildcat that will definitely not be in the lottery is Archie Goodwin. His stock has plummeted during NBA combine work outs due to poor shooting.
Goodwin struggled with his jump shot throughout the combine — “Very flat,” a Western Conference coach said — and looked like the player who said he would be “delusional” to think he was ready for the NBA. There is a raw, Jamal Crawford-like talent in Goodwin, an athletic, dynamic combo guard who can score in a variety of ways. But it could take years to develop that player in him, if it can be brought out at all.”
Archie might be the only one who thinks he’s ready. Three years from now, if he’s in the NBA, he still will be one of the youngest players in the NBA. Archie is still Archie, he isn’t lacking any confidence.
“Five years from now I see myself being one of the better players in the league,” the former UK guard told Draft Express. “My goal is to be the best player to come out of this class right now.
It is becoming clearer that Archie probably made a poor decision by entering his name into the draft. He has gone nowhere but down ever since his announcement. It is possible that he could fall into the second round, some drafts have him ranked as low as 37 in the second round. Hoping for the best.
With this year’s draft lottery out-of-the-way, we are already looking towards the 2014 NBA Draft as a host of Wildcats are potential picks. NBADraft.net has the Orlando Magic pegged as the lottery winners selecting Andrew Wiggins. Julius Randle is the first Wildcat off the board at number four going to the Phoenix Suns, followed by Willie Cauley-Stein at number five going to the New Orleans Pelicans.
James Young’s stock has vaulted to number six to Sacramento, while Andrew Harrison sits at number seven to the the Pistons. Aaron Harrison checks in at number 26 to Memphis followed by Alex Poythress at 27 to Denver.
It should be an interesting draft. I doubt Andrew Wiggins loses the top stop barring a catastrophic season in Kansas. But Julius Randle could move up to the number two spot.
And no, Russ Smith still isn’t in the first round. And he isn’t even in the second round of the 2014 draft. #DumbDecision