With the Utah Jazz falling to the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis earlier this evening 86-70, the Los Angeles Lakers clinched a playoff berth. They went ahead and defeated the Houston Rockets following the Jazz loss anyway 99-95 in overtime, moving them up to the 7th seed to face the San Antonio Spurs rather than the Oklahoma City Thunder.
What this means for the Cavaliers is that they will be able to exercise their right to swap first-round draft picks with the Lakers in the 2013 draft, gained in the Ramon Sessions (and Christian Eyenga) trade last season that also gave the Cavaliers Luke Walton and a second first-round draft pick last season (24th overall) that helped them acquire Tyler Zeller (17th overall pick). With their extra first-round draft pick this season, acquired in the LeBron James trade, the wine and gold will be able to move up from a would-be 30th pick into a pick between 18th and 20th, depending on coin-flip tiebreakers that will be performed tomorrow.
Furthermore, with the Cavaliers’ loss, ending their season at 24-58, they have the third-best odds at winning the NBA Draft Lottery behind Orlando and Charlotte. Their odds at getting each of the top six picks is outlined below.
1st pick – 15.6%
2nd pick – 15.7%
3rd pick – 15.6%
4th pick – 22.6%
5th pick – 26.5%
6th pick – 4.0%
The Cavaliers also will have the 31st and 33rd picks in the second round of this year’s draft.