x
Breaking News
More () »

Cleveland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Cleveland, Oh | WKYC.com

Cleveland Cavaliers finish season tied for NBA's 4th worst record; will have coin flip with Thunder for NBA Draft Lottery spot

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder will have a coin flip to determine the fourth and fifth slots in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

The Cleveland Cavaliers know that they'll enter the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery with an 11.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick and a 45.1 percent chance of landing a top-four pick.

RELATED: More Cleveland Cavaliers coverage from WKYC

But even before the NBA officially draws its draft order on June 22, the Cavs will be hoping to have luck on their side.

As a result of finishing the 2020-21 NBA season tied for the fourth-worst record in the NBA at 22-50, Cleveland and the Oklahoma City Thunder will enter next month's draft lottery with the same odds of landing the No. 1 pick, as well as picks 2-4. But because the draft lottery only determines the top four picks the league still needs to differentiate fourth and fifth place between the Cavs and Thunder, a determination that will be made via a coin flip ahead of the lottery.

So while Cleveland and Oklahoma City enter the lottery with the same odds of landing the draft's top four picks, the coin flip will determine what could happen to either team should they be jumped in the lottery drawing. The team that wins the coin toss and is designated as the No. 4 team in the lottery could only fall to as low as eighth in the draft order depending on what happens in the drawing for the top four picks. Meanwhile, the team that loses the coin toss could ultimately find itself picking as low as No. 9 in the draft, which will take place on July 29.

How much luck Cleveland finds in both the coin toss and the lottery itself could play dramatic roles in determining how much the Cavs will be able to accelerate their ongoing rebuild next season. In the three seasons since LeBron James' departure following the 2017-18 season, Cleveland has posted a 60-159 record and has yet to amass a winning percentage higher than .306 in a single season.

While the Cavs' roster includes a number of promising young players, including Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Isaac Okoro and Jarrett Allen, it also seems to lack a true franchise player to build around. With a little bit of luck in the next two months, Cleveland could find just that in the form of Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, G-League stand-out Jalen Green or Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs.

But should the Cavs fall out of the top four for a third consecutive lottery, a rebuild entering its fourth season could find itself delayed yet another year.