The Cleveland Cavaliers won the National Basketball Association’s draft lottery and the right to pick No. 1 in the NBA draft for the third time in the past four years.
The Cavaliers, who took point guard Kyrie Irving as the top pick in 2011 and forward Anthony Bennett in 2013, had only a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery, which is held annually among the 14 NBA teams that don’t make the playoffs.
David Griffin, who last week moved from Cleveland’s acting to permanent general manager, said he doesn’t think there’s a clear-cut top player in the draft.
Candidates for this year’s No. 1 overall pick include three college freshmen: 7-foot center Joel Embiid of the University of Kansas and 6-foot-8 forwards Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Jabari Parker of Duke University. A freshman has been drafted No. 1 each of the past four years.
“We will try to get radically better, much quicker,” Griffin said. “We really feel like there’s a sense of urgency in improving our team as a whole and we’re going to look for the right fit and we’re very open-minded to what that really means.”
In addition to picking first, Griffin has to choose a new coach for the Cavaliers.
The Milwaukee Bucks, who had the NBA’s worst record this past season with a 15-67 mark, got the No. 2 pick and the Philadelphia 76ers won the right to the No. 3 selection.
“We could have been number one, but number two is pretty good,” said new Milwaukee co-owner Wesley Edens. “Pick number two is a pretty great result. I think it gives us a great step in the right direction of building the team we want to have.”
Milwaukee had a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery, followed by the 76ers at 19.9 percent.
The Orlando Magic have the fourth pick, followed by the Utah Jazz, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 7. Neither the New York Knicks nor the Brooklyn Nets has a pick in this year’s draft, having traded them away.
The draft is scheduled for June 26 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.