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Cleveland Cavaliers: 2019 NBA Draft Lottery odds

With the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery going down on May 14, let’s break down where the Cleveland Cavaliers will likely be selecting.

It should come as no surprise that the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery will be pivotal in deciding the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers. A lucky roll of the dice could see the Cavs selecting first overall and picking up a franchise cornerstone. In contrast, dropping down further in the pecking order could result in another season of disappointment.

The NBA Draft Lottery is an event in which every team that has a secured lottery pick (top 14) will randomly be placed into an official draft order. Depending on the team’s record from the regular season, they will have varying odds as to where they land in the order.

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In previous years, the lottery was pretty straight forward. The worst team in the league received the highest odds of obtaining the No. 1 draft pick (25 percent chance). The next team would receive a 19.9 percent chance and the odds would progressively decrease for each franchise until finally, the final team had a 0.5 percent chance at landing the top pick.

However, the format has seen a number of changes recently, all of which were designed to remove the incentive for any team to begin tanking (losing games intentionally). Now, the team’s with the three worst records all receive a 14 percent chance of securing the No. 1 pick. Meanwhile, the lowest odds of winning the lottery have been increased to one percent across the final three teams.

This season, the Cavaliers finished with a 19-63 record, making them the second-worst team in the league. Of course, this means that, along with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, the Cavs have a 14 percent chance at the best pick in the draft.

While these may be the best odds available, they certainly aren’t favorable odds by any means. A 14 percent chance of grabbing the No. 1 pick also means 86 percent possibility of dropping farther in the order.

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This means that there is a far higher likelihood that Cleveland will be drafting somewhere other than first in the draft. Luckily, the NBA made sure to lay out a foundation for each lottery team’s chances of landing at different positions in the order.

  • 1st: 14.0%
  • 2nd: 13.4%
  • 3rd: 12.7%
  • 4th: 12.0%
  • 5th: 27.8%
  • 6th: 20.0%

Because the Cavaliers finished with such a poor record, they eliminated the opportunity for their pick to fall outside of the top six. With a 20 percent chance of drafting sixth and a 27.8 percent chance of drafting fifth, the Cavaliers have a nearly 50-50 shot at ending up in a disappointing position.

However, there is still a 40.1 percent possibility of drafting in the top three. This is exactly where the Cavaliers will be hoping they fall in the order. Securing the top pick is obviously the best-case scenario, but it isn’t the most likely. That is why Cleveland will be happy just to guarantee a safe pick in the top three.

There are a number of solid prospects the Cavaliers could snag in the top three. Zion Williamson would be the clear-cut No. 1 pick, while players such as R.J. Barrett, Ja Morant, Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter could all be potential prospects to go with further down the line.

Overall, the plausibility of Cleveland walking away happy from the lottery is good enough to ease the mind of the Cavaliers fanbase. The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery should be an exciting time for this franchise.

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