Not that there was much hope, but the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t get any luck whatsoever in the 2022 NBA draft lottery.
The Cavaliers entered with a 97.6 percent chance of winning the No. 14 selection in this year’s draft. As expected, J. B. Bickerstaff’s club landed in the 14th selection slot.
For the fourth time in their history, the Orlando Magic came out as the lucky winners of the draft lottery. With those selections, the Magic picked three future superstars in Shaquille O’Neal (1992), Chris Webber (1993, quickly traded to the Golden State Warriors), and Dwight Howard (2004).
The rest of the draft order for non-playoff teams (two to 13 in order) are Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City, and the Charlotte Hornets.
After their first winning season in four years, Cleveland also holds the 39th and 56th selections in the 2022 draft. Ohio sports betting has yet to launch, but it was recently legalized and will launch by Jan. 1 of next year.
When mobile and online sports betting launch, customers in “The Buckeye State” will be able to place wagers on NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL teams as well as college sports. Customers will have the options to place a wide variety of bets that include over/under, parlays, point spreads, and futures. So, for example, Cleveland fans can bet on the Cavaliers winning their division or players winning individual awards.
Cavaliers GM Koby Altman has done a superb job in rebuilding the roster since LeBron James’ 2018 departure to the Los Angeles Lakers.
As previously noted, 2022 marked Cleveland’s first winning season since James’ second departure. It was also the franchise’s first winning campaign without James on the roster since 1997-98, when they finished 47-35.
Altman has found success in round one of the draft, landing future standouts in Collin Sexton (eighth overall in 2018), Darius Garland (fifth overall in 2019), and Evan Mobley (third overall in 2021). With the No. 14th selection in his pocket, Altman has another chance to add another difference-maker to an up-and-coming roster.
Cleveland finished 44-38 in the regular season but fell to Kevin Durant’s Brooklyn Nets in the No. 7 vs. No. 8 play-in game. Cleveland ultimately lost the win-or-go-home No. 8 seed game to Trae Young’s Atlanta Hawks, ending the promising on a tough note.
One certainly can’t rule out the possibility of Altman trading away this first-round pick to either a) move up, b) move down, or C) land an impact player.
Sexton is an RFA, and veteran standout Caris LeVert will be a free agent after next season. If Altman is unsure about keeping one or both guards long-term, he could feel extra motivated to take a guard in round one.
With Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen under team control long-term, the Cavaliers are practically set in the frontcourt. Unless a top prospect on their board falls down, it will make the most sense for Cleveland to address a shooting guard or center.
Here are some prospects that the Cavaliers should consider, should they be available when Altman and company are on the clock.
Instead of joining a college team, the 19-year-old Australian decided to play for the NBA G League Ignite. Daniels averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game in 14 contests.
The athletic guard shot 44.9 percent from the field, though he struggled beyond the arc with a 25.5 three-point shooting percentage. Still, Daniels’ do-it-all skill set and playmaking abilities would make him an enticing fit on a promising young Cleveland team.
Griffin is the son of former NBA player and current Toronto Raptors’ assistant coach Adrian Griffin, who won a championship ring on Nick Nurse’s coaching staff in 2019.
The 19-year-old Griffin had a phenomenal soon at Duke, averaging 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and one assist per game. One of the top shooting prospects in this class, Griffin had a remarkable 49.3 field goal percentage and an incredible 44.7 percentage from three-point range. Without a doubt, his superb shooting skills from all over the court would make Griffin a welcoming addition to the Cavaliers.