Every year in the NBA there are 16 teams that make the playoffs and 14 who are relegated to the NBA Lottery. Those 14 teams hope that their draft pick can be a building block for the future and help their team become one of the 16 in the playoffs the following season. This article evaluates how well this year’s lottery teams have drafted the past five years:
Note: Players who were drafted by one team but their rights were acquired by another on draft night will be counted as picks of the team that acquired them (i.e. For this article’s sake, Kevin Love will be considered a draft pick of the Timberwolves even though he was initially drafted by Memphis).
2011 LOTTERY PICKS: 1 and 4
PICKS LAST 5 YEARS: Daniel Gibson, Ejke Ugboaja, Shannon Brown, J.J. Hickson, Danny Green, Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun, Emir Preldzic, and Christian Eyenga
Amongst this group of players, the Cavs have found only two players that have worked out for them in Daniel Gibson and J.J. Hickson. Gibson was a perfect complementary player alongside LeBron James, but showed last year he can be a solid contributor for the Cavs even without LeBron creating open shots for him. Hickson has shown flashes of immense talent, but has been wildly inconsistent and has yet to find a true position in Cleveland. The other picks have had minimal or no impact in Cleveland, and Christian Eyenga has not exactly blown anyone away in his first two seasons. (A friend of mine from Cleveland said, “He’s the worst,” about Eyenga). The primary reason the Cavs’ grade is a B- and not lower is because they have had primarily late first rounders and second rounders to deal with the last five years.