Winning Lottery Cements LeBron James’ Return to Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Draft Lottery for the second year in a row on Tuesday night, in turn setting themselves up to pick either Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker. Each of these players looks likely to be a superstar at the NBA level, and their incoming presence cements a group of talent in Cleveland that should be too much for LeBron James to turn down this summer.
Sure, Cleveland have not made the playoffs since James left after the 2009-10 season and went 33-49 during the past year, but they have also had four top five picks in the last three years. Along the way, they have picked up Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, who each look like perennial All-Star talents moving forward, and provide a mix of length, distribution and shooting ability. The pick of Anthony Bennett may not have worked out last year, but the Cavaliers have a core of young talent that is impossible to ignore, and certainly is on the precipice of something great.
Keeping in mind their current needs, Cleveland can’t really go wrong with picking either Wiggins, Embiid or Parker, as they can either choose a pure talent, big man or a guy who is ready to contribute right away. At this point, it appears that they can’t go wrong, and that whoever they choose will be an attractive pawn in the race for James.
One thing Cleveland fans can be sure of is that their unit as a whole will certainly look better than the Miami Heat, particularly when James’ future is up in the air. After all, Miami is currently sporting an aging Dwyane Wade, a lackluster Chris Bosh and a rather rag-tag group of extras. Suffice to say, recent times have shown that without James’ excellence the Heat may not have been much more than a .500 team, something that is only prone to get worse when Mario Chalmers hits free agency and Ray Allen retires.
Much like he did during the summer of 2010, James will be faced with a choice of loyalty or wanting to win when he inevitably opts out of his deal this summer. If history is any lesson, James will choose the team that gives him the best option to win, and there is no team that fits this bill better than the Cavaliers. Picking up the No. 1 pick only cements this status, as will the inevitable fact that the team would likely choose whichever role players and head coach King James wants around him moving forward.