The Cavaliers era of lottery dominance is over. After winning three of the last four NBA draft lotteries in New York, the Cleveland Cavaliers came up empty Tuesday night. The Cavs will not be using the first overall choice in June's draft. Even crazier, the Cavs weren't even invited to this year's event. Whether this was because other teams were tired of losing the lottery, or because of the Cavs organization's propensity to celebrate their victories with vigor, the NBA just didn't want the Cavs there.
Failing to get the top pick in this year's draft is but another blow to a Cavs organization that's been in turmoil ever since LeBron James returned to the team in July. James missed more regular season games than ever before, Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder, Anderson Varejao tore his achilles, rookie head coach David Blatt has struggled to inspire his team, and Kyrie Irving failed to repeat as an All-Star starter. Winning the lottery figured to be an easy fallback for the beleaguered Cavs.
It's unclear where the Cavs go from here. Without the ability to use the first selection on a talent like Anthony Bennett, it's an uncertain future. On a certain level, though, for a team that's suffered through bad luck for nine months now, you have to believe the organization had internalized the possibility they might not win the lottery. It'll be up to David Griffin to finally start earning his paycheck.
Catch the Cavs take on the Hawks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. on TNT!