The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Drafting Season: It’s the most wonderful time of the year!



Episode 1: The Lottery

It’s time to freak out Cleveland, the NBA Draft is coming.

People like to joke that in Cleveland we look forward to our sport drafts more than our sports seasons.  It is hard not to be guilty of it at times as a Cavs fan.  All the Cleveland Cavalier’s1 success and failure as a franchise can be directed back to the draft itself.


The Lottery is tonight and offers the Cavaliers a shot at the #1 overall pick, which would be our fifth such time selecting there.  There are years where picking #1 overall is a complete franchise changer and in other years you get stuck with Andrea Bargnani.

Let’s take a brief twirl through history and look at how the Cavs have done when they have drafted #1 overall:

Austin Carr was our first overall number one pick and became a one time All-Star and then suffered a knee injury in his third season2 and never came back the same.


In the early 80s our owner, Ted Stepien, fired Joe Tait and traded 246 consecutive 1st round picks and then before he could trade the 247th3 the league made a rule to stop him.


They even named it after him.

The Stepien Rule.

It said “Thou shall not trade your first round picks in consecutive years”.

If this happened today instead of making a rule the NBA would have done an intervention style reality TV show with Mark Cuban, Dan Gilbert, and David Stern called “Save a Franchise”.  Dude was addicted to trading picks.

The following list of players selected with the picks traded by this terrible excuse for an owner is not for the faint of heart.

James Worthy, Derek Harper, Sam Perkins, Roy Tarpley, Detlef Schrempf, and Dennis Rodman.

In case you don’t know, there are three repeat All-Stars in there.4


In order to get Gordon Gund to buy the team in the first place the NBA had to give him bonus first round picks to compensate for Stepien’s utter incompetence.  If I believed in conspiracy theories this is where I would suggest that Anthony Davis was a gift to Tom Benson, who bought the New Orleans franchise officially in April 2012, about one month before the 2012 Draft Lottery.


Our 2nd number one overall pick in franchise history was in 19865 and came in the form of the NASCAR loving, hook shot shooting, Brad Daugherty.  Daugherty became a five time All-Star and top two player on those late 80s early 90s Cavs teams who were a legit NBA title contender, some of the better offensive teams of their era, and arguably the best Cavaliers team ever.6

In the same draft we also nabbed Marky Mark Price out of Georgia Tech via a trade with the Mavericks at the top of the 2nd round.

I feel like it is important to note here that I was born in 1986 and that this draft is probably responsible for me growing up and loving basketball.


mark price











Anyways, we got a five and a four time All-Star in one draft.  How often does that shit happen?


The first time we actually won the modern form of the lottery, as it did not exist in 1986, we somehow won the right to select the most highly touted NBA prospect ever.    In the following draft we selected…


Spoiler Alert:

We didn’t win a title.

Efffff me.

The rebuilding effort post LeBron was accelerated by a trade that literally has changed how NBA front offices make trades.  Chris Grant took on Baron Davis’ stupidly large salary in order to get an unprotected lottery pick that turned into our current 21 year old All-Star, Kyrie Irving.  Teams WILL NOT trade unprotected lottery picks anymore.  In fact the protection on picks because of this trade have gotten so overly complicated that if you asked a Cleveland Cavalier beat reporter to explain the protection on the pick we got from either Memphis this year or Sacramento last year their head would explode.

So I’m sorry if I love the NBA Draft, but its importance cannot be denied.

I’m going to be doing a Cavalier NBA Draft series in the next two weeks and I have to say I might be more excited to cover the draft than Nick Swisher9 is to be in Cleveland.

See you tomorrow morning after the lottery.

Maybe the flat top will be taking Cleveland by storm?


-Joe Mastrantoni

Follow Joe on Twitter here.

Listen every Friday to “Defend Cleveland Friday with Mike and Joe”  by clicking here, a weekly hour long Cleveland sports podcast companion to the DC Show that’s the best way to end you week, and the only way to begin your weekend.

Listen to last Monday’s “The Defend Cleveland Show” in its entirety by clicking here.

The DC Show with host Mike James airs live every Monday morning from 9am-11:30am on WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland, and streams world wide here.

  1. And probably the Browns too, but there is enough Browns coverage in this city.  There will be not one, but three radio stations in which you can tune into to hear the same live broadcast of the Browns games.  I’m not sure why one city needs three separate radio stations to broadcast the exact same thing, but at least the Browns ownership is probably laughing itself to the bank. []
  3. #Hyperbole. []
  4. Not to mention a couple of those three are enshrined in the Hall of Fame []
  5. The Cavs also selected Ron Harper #8 overall and he was a huge part of those teams in the late 80s, scoring 22 ppg in his rookie season, but like so many players in the 80s, he was suspected of heavy drug use.  One interesting twist on his coke habit though was that he supposedly indulged in it with Gordon Gund’s daughter.  This is of course is not a confirmed rumor.  Though neither is Delonte shagging LeBron’s mum.  They are still both quite funny. []
  6. Dean Oliver, a rather early adopter of advanced statistics in basketball, had them ranked as the top offense in 1992 and the 24th overall ranked offense from the years of 1974-2004.  That is pretty damn good.  All three teams ranked above them, 21-23, were Magic Johnson led Lakers teams. []
  7. I didn’t take the time to look up the exact number, but even if you assume it happened exactly once every single year, which it definitely doesn’t, you’d still only have a 1/30 chance.  The NBA Draft is once a year. So once every thirty years as a rather generous estimation. []
  8. There weren’t that many GREAT players to select after Jackson, but really this pick was atrocious and along with Boozer leaving, put a huge hindrance on the Cavaliers winning a title with LeBron.  It was their one chance to put some decent young talent next to LeBron and they failed.  This was pre Danny Ferry as GM and to be fair they did grab Andy from the Magic in a trade at the top of the 2nd round…Man, I need footnotes for my footnotes; anyways Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, JR Smith, Jameer Nelson, and Kevin Martin were all selected in the first round after Luke Jackson.  All of those players would sadly be the 2nd best scorer on most of those LeBron teams, which is something those teams badly needed. []
  9. First thirty seconds of this video will explain this reference  …Or just see any other Nick Swisher interview ever []

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Posted by on May 21 2013. Filed under Featured, Hands Down, Man's Down. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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