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Though their odds of landing the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft are slim, the Cleveland Cavaliers are at least in the game.
So, you’re saying there’s a chance?
Yes, but not a great one. The Cavaliers, via the first-round draft pick they own of the Brooklyn Nets via the Kyrie Irving deal back on Aug. 22, own the eighth-best odds of landing the top pick, at 2.8 percent.
Odds on Cleveland landing a top-three pick at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night in Chicago are a bit better, at 9.9 percent.
In an in-depth piece looking at the lottery and the draft, ESPN‘s Jonathan Givony says if the Cavaliers pull off a surprise and land a top-three pick Tuesday night, the should select, in order, either:
1. Deandre Ayton.
2. Luka Doncic.
3. Jaren Jackson Jr.
However, if Cleveland ends up staying in its position going into the lottery, eighth, Givony sees the Cavaliers selecting Oklahoma point guard Trae Young.
“Cleveland’s sweep of Toronto and the renewed chemistry that appears to have been forged between LeBron James and the rest of the roster seems to bode well for their prospects of keeping the NBA’s most dominant player.
“Continuing to stockpile young talent that the King is excited about certainly wouldn’t hurt their pitch, and it just so happens that one of the most talented players in the draft could be sitting here at No. 8. Young plays a huge position of need for this squad, which has cycled through more than a half-dozen guard options over the course of the season.
“If Young is gone, one of the many frontcourt options — such as (Wendell) Carter, (Mohamed) Bamba, either (Mikal) Bridges or (Michael) Porter — could also be attractive.”