For the second time in three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the top pick in the NBA Draft after winning the 2013 draft lottery on Tuesday.
The Cavaliers, Magic and Wizards found themselves in the running in the top three for the No. 1 overall pick. After Washington received the third selection, it was down to just Orlando and Cleveland. Once it was revealed Orlando had the second pick, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his son, Nick Gilbert, celebrated as it was announced the Cavaliers had won.
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
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. Utah Jazz
This is the third time the Cavs have had the No. 1 overall pick since the turn of the century. It worked out pretty well the last two times. In 2003, Cleveland selected LeBron James. In 2011, the Cavaliers took Kyrie Irving.
Irving justified his top draft pick, as he made the 2013 All-Star team, finishing the year averaging 22.5 points per game. Dion Waiters, who Cleveland selected No. 4 overall last year, showed flashes of scoring abilities, as well, finishing as the team's second-leading scorer at 14.7 points per game.
The Cavs had to make due much of last year without longtime center Anderson Varejao, who was in the midst of a career season before he was sidelined with a blood clot. Varejao averaged 14.1 points and 14.4 points but only made it through 25 games, the third straight year injuries shortened his season.
Considering Varejao's fragility, Cleveland might turn to Nerlens Noel with their top pick. Noel is coming off of an injury as well and is expected to make a full recovery. Noel would make opposing teams consider before driving the lane on the Cavs. Cleveland averaged four blocks a game last season, good for second-to-last in the league. Noel averaged 4.4 blocks a game by himself for the Kentucky Wildcats last season.
As Fear the Sword points out, the Cavs' defense was one of the team's biggest issues last year. With the backcourt locked up, Cleveland does have a hole at small forward that Indiana Hoosier Victor Oladipo or Georgetown Hoya Otto Porter could fill rather well. Oladipo was one of the top defenders in college last season, creating havoc often for Indiana's top-10 defense while regularly asked to defend multiple positions. His 69 steals last year are second in school history to Isiah Thomas. Porter was the lynchpin of Georgetown's success last year on both sides of the ball.