NBA Draft Lottery odds: Nerlens Noel favored to be top pick

USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel blew out his knee, but did not blow his chance at being the first overall pick. The Kentucky star leads the NBA draft odds as Cleveland decides who to take in June.

Ten years ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery and took local hero LeBron James with the first overall pick.

Three years ago, the Cavs got the top pick again and snagged Kyrie Irving. In 2013, odds are good that Kentucky's Nerlens Noel will be the latest first overall pick to land in Cleveland.

Orlando had the best odds of actually wining the pick, according to the NBA draft lottery odds. But the team with the best odds has only won the lottery twice in 22 seasons.

Cleveland, despite having just a 15-percent chance at winning, once again nabbed the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft.

Oddsmakers have set NBA betting lines on this draft, with Noel as the big favorite at -200, according to Bovada. Otto Porter, the small forward from Georgetown, is the second choice, while 'anyone else' is a +500 proposition.

Irving has not disappointed in his two seasons with the Cavs, averaging almost 21 points and six assists per game so far, although he has yet to lead them to the playoffs.

Not only does Cleveland get the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft, to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn June 27, but it also owns pick No. 19, which it might be able to use to improve upon an inefficient offensive attack.

With help from two smart picks, it doesn't seem far-fetched that the Cavs could make a jump from last place in a mediocre Central Division to first place in a few seasons.

The Orlando Magic, thanks to their league-low 20 victories this season, had the best chance to win the draft lottery Tuesday night, owning 25 percent of the balls in the rack. Instead, Orlando ended up with the second pick.

But the Washington Wizards (hopefully soon to be the "Bullets" once again), for one of the few times in recent franchise history, got lucky. Heading into the lottery, the 29-win Wizards had the eighth-best chance to land the top overall pick and just a 12.4 percent chance of moving into the top three. But they came away with the third choice.

The question for Washington, though, is whether it will make a difference? And what are the odds of getting the player they like?

Rounding out the top of the upcoming draft order, the Charlotte Bobcats, after going 21-61 this season, will draft fourth; the Phoenix Suns, after winning just 25 games, will draft fifth; the New Orleans Pelicans, after getting Anthony Davis with the first overall pick last year, will draft sixth; the still-Sacramento Kings will draft seventh and the Detroit Pistons will draft eighth.

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