Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the anticipation for the NBA lottery hasn’t been this highly anticipated since LeBron James entered the draft from St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. Every NBA franchise coveted the basketball prodigy LeBron, “the chosen one” James in 2003. Fast forward to 2019 and NBA teams in the Lottery such as the Cavs, Grizzlies and Knicks were emphatically wanting the services of Duke’s Zion Williamson. We now know that the New Orleans Pelicans and David Griffin, the former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager, won the “Tank for Zion” sweepstakes (even with a lower percentage of lottery balls than the Cavs or Knicks).
For the Knicks they seem to be snake-bitten with bad luck. As for the Cavs this is the first time in a while Nick Gilbert, Cleveland’s good luck charm who suffers from neurofibromatosis and the son of owner Dan Gilbert, wasn’t able to land the first overall pick. The Cavs have had historical success in the draft lottery landing the top pick four separate times since 2003. Selecting LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins in each of those four instances.
Dan Gilbert a native of Detroit has flirted with signing Michigan State’s Tom Izzo to be Cleveland’s head coach only to be stood up by Izzo, who loves the college atmosphere of coaching in East Lansing. What shocked the basketball world and Cavaliers Nation was the signing of University of Michigan head coach John Beilein.
With the Cavs overhauling their former championship roster in favor of a youth movement, it is important Cleveland hired an experienced coach like Beilein, who has a history of building a program from scratch. This is the case with the Cavs as they are in the midst of a youth movement with players that need to be molded. Skeptics will point at Beilein’s lack of experience at the NBA level. From a historical standpoint Beilein has had success at every coaching stop he has made at every level, so Cleveland’s management is banking on the same success at the NBA Level.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have a tall task during the post LeBron James era to fill seats, keep the fan base energized and find ways to make Cleveland a free agent destination, which is hard to do on the banks of Lake Erie. Harsh winters are not as appealing to free agents as warm weather destinations with large media markets. The Cavs are in a rebuild situation and need to set the correct building blocks to become a championship contender again.