It hasn’t worn off. It still feels absolutely surreal. The Cleveland Cavaliers once again have the top selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. The lottery took place three days ago and it still makes such little sense, but after a season filled with disappointment, the Cavaliers once again have a reason for hope.
In the days since, reports have surfaced that the Cavaliers are already leaning towards Joel Embiid…and that they have plans to select Andrew Wiggins…and that Jabari Parker will be their first overall selection…and even that they have full intentions to trade the pick for a legitimate NBA All-Star, with these specific rumors centering around Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.
All of this has surfaced in well under 72 hours. In fact, most of these reports came out within hours of the conclusion of the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night, and they are just a preview of the rumors that will surface over the next 34 days.
David Griffin has been very clear about the franchise being open to all possibilities. If the right trade comes along, he will easily pull the trigger. If they believe one prospect is superior to another, he won’t hesitate to make the selection on June 26. The only thing that we can be certain of at the moment is that we will be repeatedly lied to for the weeks to come.
Everyone has their own motives…and most importantly, the Cavaliers’ motive is to not be known. It in no way benefits the organization for others to definitively know their plans. They can, and will, use the media to their advantage by leaking stories that have elements of both fact and fiction.
The only truth that we can trust beyond a reasonable doubt is that the Cavaliers will continue to do whatever they can to put themselves in position for a reunion with LeBron James. This one desire has been central to every decision the franchise has made since James took his talents to South Beach (except perhaps for Dan Gilbert’s use of comic sans).
Even if the team believes they have only a 10 percent chance at signing the best player in the word, they have to do whatever it takes to keep that window open. It’s for this reason that the Cavaliers have been so closely tied to Kevin Love, and will continue to be tied to any other stars that become available.
But getting proper value for the top pick in the NBA draft is incredibly difficult. The NBA is a star driven league, and the easiest way to historically get a star is at the top of the draft. Not only that, but there is barely a precedence for this type of trade.
The only time that the first overall selection has ever been traded was in 1993, when the Orlando Magic traded top pick Chris Webber to the Golden State Warriors. In return, the Magic received the No. 3 overall pick (Anfernee Hardaway) and three future first round picks. In total, it was just a simple exchange of draft picks.
But is giving up a potential star player (Wiggins, Embiid, Parker) worth a gamble on one year of Kevin Love and the chance it could bring about the return of LeBron? It depends on who you ask.
But that’s what makes this time of year so exciting! We as fans get to process 20 different rumors at once and try to discern where the truth is located. We get to determine what our preferences are and what we feel is the best route going forward, all while sorting through miles of stats…and all based on a successful 1.7 percent chance in the lottery.