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Will the Cleveland Cavaliers trade their #1 overall pick? Maybe

If they stay at #1, the Cavs could take Nerlens Noel of Kentucky. But if they are scared off by his injury concerns, moving the pick would be a smart move

The NBA's Draft Lottery took place Tuesday in New York City, leaving the Draft hopes and dreams of a bunch of NBA teams to a random selection of ping-pong balls.

And, like they did in 2011, the Cleveland Cavaliers — with a full army of owner Dan Gilbert's sons — won the Lottery, giving them the top overall pick in June's festivities at the Barclays Center.

Even in a lesser-talented class like the one for this season, holding the first slot in the draft pecking order is a great advantage that allows teams either to pick whomever they could want, or trade the selection to another eager franchise for a lucrative haul in return.

The Cavs are looking at both of those options now at this early stage.

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, Cleveland is open to hearing trade offers for the No. 1 pick. Far from making any deal at all, the Cavs — still in rebuilding mode after losing LeBron James to the Heat — are just looking to expand their possible options with their second top-pick in three years, a smart way to approach this offseason from Cleveland GM Chris Grant.

With a ton of draft picks in the 2013 edition and equally impressive cap space, the Cavaliers can afford to take a risk in trading their first-overall pick for more depth later on in the Draft or maybe a current NBAer who can contribute this year.

Nerlens Noel, a power forward from the University of Kentucky, is projected by many to be the top prospect for this draft class and there is a lot of talk that he is who Cleveland covets the most with the top pick. But his ridiculous athleticism and high-flying capabilities come with a very big drawback: his injury trouble. Noel is expected to miss nearly the first two months of the 2013-14 season with an ACL injury that cost him much of his freshman year at Kentucky, his only college season.

From Windhorst, as quoted from Grant: "You want to look at all your options and make the best decision for your team. This is a valuable asset that we can add to the group, whether it's in trade or keep it and add a player."

It is nice to see a team on the rebound like the Cavaliers making the informed decisions regarding player acquisition, the very decisions that general managers of bad teams make over and over again that keep them in the lottery. Looks like Cleveland is finally on the way back to prominence, a good thing for the NBA and the team's dedicated fanbase.

About Josh Burton

I'm a New York native who has been a Nets season ticket holder, in both New Jersey and now Brooklyn, for his entire life. Northwestern University (Medill School of Journalism) '18

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