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Cleveland Cavaliers win draft lottery, likely to take Irving

May 17, 2011, 9:09 PM EDT

Kyrie Irving draft Getty Images

Start trying to picture Kyrie Irving in a wine and gold Cleveland uniform.

The Cleveland Cavaliers got some good karma (maybe from owner Dan Gilbert’s son Nick) and won the NBA Draft Lottery — not with their own pick, but with the one they got from the Clippers this past season, the one with a 2.8 percent chance of being the top pick. They traded Mo Williams and took on the contract of Baron Davis and got the pick as part of that deal.

(The Clippers liked Williams and didn’t like the draft so they made the move that was the right one, save they should have protected the pick if top 3. Not doing that really costs them now. Irving with Blake Griffin would have been dynamic.)

The Timberwolves will draft second and likely take Derrick Williams out of Arizona, which gives them another forward and makes you wonder what the future of Michael Beasley in Minnesota will be. The Utah Jazz will draft third and that’s where this draft gets murky.

The Cavs’ Byron Scott has had his best success as a coach with a strong point guard — Jason Kidd and Chris Paul — and he wants to run, which makes the selection of Irving almost a certainty. Irving is not the explosive athlete that John Wall or Derrick Rose are, but he plays a smart, balanced all-around game that has been compared to the Blazers’ Brandon Roy. That will work just fine in Cleveland, where they also have the No. 4 pick.

Here is the draft order:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (from L.A. Clippers)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors,
6. Washington Wizards
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Indiana Pacers
16. Philadelphia 76ers
17. New York Knicks
18. Washington Wizards (from Atlanta)
19. Charlotte Bobcats (from New Orleans via Portland)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Memphis via Utah)
21. Portland Trailblazers
22. Denver Nuggets
23. Houston Rockets (from Orlando via Phoenix)
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
25. Boston Celtics
26. Dallas Mavericks
27. New Jersey Nets (from Los Angeles Lakers)
28. Chicago Bulls (from Miami via Toronto)
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Chicago Bulls

  1. jstrizzle - May 17, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Is it time to rip the Clippers for trading that first round lottery pick? Derrick Williams or Kyrie Irving sure would look nice next to Blake Griffin. This site proclaimed them the smartest ever for making that trade. Kinda backfired really.

    • whatagreatfootballmind - May 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      No kidding, and don’t forget they will have a guaranteed top 5 pick next year, when Minnesota is forced to give them their pick next year.

      • jstrizzle - May 17, 2011 at 10:33 PM

        Not for sure. Still have that lingering Eric Bledsoe trade so they keep the better of the 2 first round picks. It is easy to assume it would be the Wolves’ but I also assumed Cleveland wouldn’t have 2 picks in the first 4 this year.

    • cosanostra71 - May 18, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Well, at the time it was a smart trade. Dumping Baron’s contract while actually improving the team on the court. They became competitive enough that you wouldn’t have expected that pick to end up #1 overall. It jumped 7 spots, only the 93 Magic and 08 Bulls have jumped up from lower to grab the #1 pick. Hindsight is 20/20. Kyrie and Blake Griffin would look nice though.

      • ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        They finished at the same spot in the standings as they were when they made the trade if I’m not mistaken

      • savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        21-37 before the trade (Feb 24)
        11-13 after

        Winning % wise they were a little better after the trade, but you can’t really use that as an example to compare to because there was only 24 games played.

  2. zacmonte - May 17, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Amazing for Cleveland. They can do a lot with these picks. I know a lot of people take Irving here, but honestly, I would strongly consider taking Williams with #1 and take whoever I like more out of Walker or Knight (In my case Knight. I love his potential and he can play beneath Baron until he is ready). But no matter what they do, they will be in a good situation. Sadly, this draft isn’t the strongest but you take what you can get. Going the Irving route, though, expect them to look for Kanter, if he falls, or Valinciunas, because getting a PG and a C would be an amazing foundation to build upon. Personally, I prefer Jonas, especially since they have Hickson and Kanter’s knee issues, and he also measures out better for the 5.

  3. whatagreatfootballmind - May 17, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    well, minnesota has the 2nd pick so, basically kyrie irving will be a future hall of famer and minnesota will take derrick williams, who will be the second coming of pooh richardson, felton spencer, gerald glass, christian laettner, jr rider, donyell marshall, ndudi ebi, and rashad mccants. awesome!

  4. volcom2143 - May 17, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Happy for Cleveland and gilbert’s son . ( not a fan of his dad though ) but it will def be nice for them to add two young players in the top 4 picks even if this isn’t the strongest draft . adding two young pieces to go with jj hickson can only help and boy do they need some help. Has a team ever had two picks in the top four before in the draft ???

  5. ljl2 - May 17, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    hey Kurt,

    Time to backpedal?

    I bet you will spin this again in another way to bash the city of Cleveland.

    • bleedhouse - May 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM

      good going kurt! you really nailed this one.

      “The Cavaliers get… I don’t know why they did this. They get a first-round pick this season that likely going to be in the 7-10 range and they said this is the primary motivation. This is a draft considered to have some nice role players in it but no stars. Are they really willing to pay $9 million in salary for the chance to draft a role player?”

      It’s a smart move for the Clippers. For the Cavs… well, that’s why they are the Cavs.”

      • mytthor - May 18, 2011 at 1:57 AM

        Funny, I look back at that post and didn’t see any fearless predictions about the place of the pick or statements that it was a great deal from either of you. So congratulations, you’ve successfully proven that you have a better idea about a draft lottery the day after it happened than someone did 2 months before the end of the season.

    • ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      I would have responded to mytthor but he disabled replies somehow.

      BUT…I didn’t post because almost everyone who commented brought up the same view I had. In that post and this one…

  6. jsally430 - May 17, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Could the timberwolves ever catch a break in this “rigged” lottery. Clevland beats the odds to get the number one pick a year after losing lebron? Weird here’s you’re sorry it happened cleveland

  7. darrkkomens - May 17, 2011 at 11:02 PM

    This draft was a clear an obvious David Stern orchastrated sham!!!! come on now… both of the Cavs lottery picks jump up.. to #1 and #4 … This was a makeup for Labron leaving town and how horrible the Cavs looked afterwards.. Then the productions with his son. (cool little kid) but for sympathy its because he knew the fix was in.. The draft was fixed just like the NBA playoffs
    and I love Basketball and my team wasn’t even in the draft … but it was clear what they were doing.
    I know as soon as I saw his son .. that they would get the #1 pick and that the second pick would be bumped up..

    • boondocksaint224 - May 18, 2011 at 4:26 AM

      You’re wrong. The Cavs own pick actually DROPPED to #4 when the Nets moved up to #3 and the Clippers pick got bumped up to #1 while the T Wolves dropped back to #2.

      Also, if the lottery was rigged, why did the Wizards win last year over the Nets? The NBA would LOVE to have a legit star in one of its biggest markets, and it would have been in Stern’s best interest to have Wall land there. But I guess tapping into that massive Washington D.C. market comes first, right?

    • ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Actually, the Clippers pick jumped to #1 and the Cavs pick fell 2 spots. But…whatever helps your argument.

      And Nick Gilbert was picked as a way for him to raise awareness and money for a charity…

  8. trbowman - May 18, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Lay off Kurt – like you guys have never been wrong about anything? lol

    • ljl2 - May 18, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      I haven’t repeatedly bashed a city just for the sake of bashing it and ignored even the team’s own statement that the deal was about the pick and hopefully davis worked out…which is what Kurt did. Look back throughout the year. There’s a theme- bash Cavs or lick LeBron’s Sack…

  9. mondzy805 - May 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    As a Clippers fan, its typical for this to happen to us. As long as Donald Sterling is the owner, this will continue to happend. At least we still have Blake Griffin.

    • savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      Enjoy it until his contract is about to expire because we all know what will happen…..

    • cosanostra71 - May 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      wow, the lone Clippers fan in LA. I’m a Lakers fan, but I have been to several Clips games because they are more affordable. I wouldn’t get too down though. Yes, Kyrie to Blake would be nice, but you did dump Baron’s contract which gives you a lot more FA flexibility over the next two years. Wouldn’t give up on Bledsoe quite yet either- he showed some promise last year.

  10. savocabol1 - May 18, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    The best part of the whole thing is that Irving was heavily recruited by Lebrons marketing team to be represented by them……and he shot them down.

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