The Cleveland Cavaliers have the right to make the first selection in the June 27 National Basketball Association draft after winning the lottery for the second time in three seasons.
“We said all along we wanted to build this team primarily through the draft,” said owner Dan Gilbert, who lost LeBron James as a free agent to the Miami Heat in 2010.
The Cavaliers selected point guard Kyrie Irving with the top pick in the 2011 draft. He has a career average of 20.6 points per game and was chosen as the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2011-12 season.
“We said to build the kind of core we want we have to focus on a handful of strong, talented people and build around them,” Gilbert said in a conference call with reporters. “Then we look at trades and free agency.”
Gilbert said he wasn’t ready to disclose who the first pick will be for the Cavaliers. He said there was “no clear-cut, no-holds-barred No. 1 choice.”
Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, guard Ben McLemore of Kansas and Nevada-Las Vegas forward Anthony Bennett are among players predicted as the possible top pick.
The Orlando Magic, who had the NBA’s worst record this season at 20-62, earned the right to pick second and the Washington Wizards are slotted to select third.
The draft lottery is held each year among the 14 teams that don’t make the playoffs.
DRAFT LOTTERY ORDER =================== 1. Cleveland Cavaliers 2. Orlando Magic 3. Washington Wizards 4. Charlotte Bobcats 5. Phoenix Suns 6. New Orleans Pelicans 7. Sacramento Kings 8. Detroit Pistons 9. Minnesota Timberwolves 10. Portland Trail Blazers 11. Philadelphia 76ers 12. Toronto Raptors 13. Dallas Mavericks 14. Utah Jazz
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