Once again, lady luck was on the Cleveland Cavaliers side in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery. No, the Cavs did not come away with the ultimate prize — the number one pick and Cade Cunningham. However, they did sneak into the top three, and will select third in July’s 2021 NBA Draft.
The Detroit Pistons won the first overall pick, and the second pick stayed in Houston with the Rockets. While the Pistons, Rockets and Cavaliers ended the night in great spirits, it was not the same for other franchises.
The Minnesota Timberwolves lost their only pick in this year’s draft to the Golden State Warriors, as it did not fall inside the top-three. The Oklahoma City Thunder may have been the biggest losers. The pick they would have acquired from Houston was in the top three, so it stayed with the Rockets. On top of that, Oklahoma City had it’s own pick fall to number six.
Overall, it was a great night for the Cavaliers, so let’s take a look at what landing the third pick means.
Cavaliers Win Pick 3 in 2021 NBA Draft
Cunningham Consensus No. 1, Followed By?
It’s widely known around the league that Cade Cunningham, the 19-year-old guard from Oklahoma State, will be the first pick. He would have been a great fit with the Cavs, but picking third is still a huge win for the organization.
With Cunningham off the board, the Rockets will likely be vying to take their best player available at number two. As this draft is viewed as more of a four-player draft, they have many good options. They could go with Evan Mobley, the seven-foot big man out of USC. He’s a bit raw, but he’s a natural shot-blocker that can score inside and out. On the other hand, the Rockets could add Jalen Suggs or Jalen Green to the mix. Suggs would be a great floor general to build around. As for Green, his ability to flat out score will definitely translate to the pro game. Fortunately for everyone in the top four, the top of this draft is full of potential All-Stars.
Cavs Have Interesting NBA Draft Lottery History
Yes, the Cavs once again got lucky on Tuesday night. Some would say the team doesn’t deserve all the luck they’ve gotten over the years in the NBA Draft Lottery, and I wouldn’t disagree with them. In 2003, a miracle happened and LeBron James, born and raised in Akron, was selected first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. The real run of luck for the Cavaliers started in 2011, when they landed Tristan Thompson with their own pick at number four. However, they used a pick acquired from the Clippers to select Kyrie Irving number one overall in 2011.
In 2012, they again won the fourth pick, selecting Dion Waiters from Syracuse. He and Irving did not get along, so he did not stay long in Cleveland. In 2013 and 2014, they somehow ended up with the number one pick twice in a row. In 2013, they selected Anthony Bennett with the first pick. He turned into a complete bust. In 2014, they acquired Andrew Wiggins, who was immediately traded to Minnesota for Kevin Love.
Real Winner of the Night: Swin Cash
As happens every year for the NBA Draft Lottery, each of the 14 teams sent a representative for their organizations. Cavs GM Koby Altman was there, along with a few other general managers. NBA players Miles Bridges, Fred VanFleet and Anthony Edwards represented their teams. However, no one stole the show quite like Pelicans vice president of basketball and team development, Swin Cash. She was the representative for the Pelicans, and when they showed the Pelicans getting the 10th pick, she did not hide her displeasure:
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