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If season cancelled, LeBron trade could help Cavs in draft

Nov 7, 2011, 3:11 PM EST

Irving stands with NBA Commissioner Stern after being selected by the Cavaliers as the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft in Newark Getty Images

Since we’ve got nothing else NBA related to do today other than stare into the abyss and see if it stares back, let’s talk about an interesting little hypothetical.

Let’s say the full NBA season gets cancelled. That leads to all sorts of questions about what order the picks would be in for the 2012 NBA Draft. (There would be a draft, then all those players would instantly go into limbo without a contract, like the players from this past draft.) Most likely, there would be a weighted lottery of some kind where any team could win but the worst teams in recent years would have an advantage.

Which brings us to a little thing in the lopsided, after-the-fact “trade” of LeBron James to Miami by the Cavaliers last summer. A little something brought up by Jason Lloyd at the Beacon Journal.

As part of the sign-and-trade, the Cavaliers have the right to swap picks should the Heat finish with a higher selection in the 2012 draft. It was scoffed at and dismissed at the time of the deal, since the Cavs are rebuilding and the Heat are one of the elite teams, but it becomes much more intriguing if this entire season is abolished by the lockout.

It would still be more likely that the Cavaliers would have a higher pick than the Heat. I’m sure Pat Riley laughed when asked if this should be included in the trade package. But if the season is wiped out this could be the second year in a row the Cavs luck their way into a higher draft pick (remember the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft was the Clippers first round pick, which had a 2.7 percent chance of being the top pick when it was traded).

It’s a longshot, but it could happen. And the Cavs seem to grab the long shots.

  1. vols84 - Nov 7, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Wait, they aren’t playing basketball? Hardly noticed nor cared.

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