By Bruce Hooley | ESPNCleveland.com
Nick Gilbert is too young to gain admission to Horseshoe Casino, and that’s probably a good thing for the bottom line at his father’s gambling palace.
For the second time in three years, Nick, the 14-year-old son of Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert, had the magic touch in the NBA Draft Lottery last night in New York City.
Gilbert beat the odds, which gave the Cavaliers only the third-best chance to grab the top pick in the draft, to once again place his father’s franchise atop the order of selection for the June 27 draft.
Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, who missed half the season with torn knee ligaments that will delay his NBA career until perhaps December, looms as a top candidate to join LeBron James (2003) and Kyrie Irving (2011) as Cleveland’s third No. 1 overall pick in the past decade.
“It’s huge for us,” Dan Gilbert said of the Cavs, who entered with a 15.6% chance for the top pick, behind Orlando (25%) and Charlotte (19.9%) “This is our third year in a row in the lottery, and hopefully our last for a long, long time.”
Wearing a wine-colored bow tie, like everyone else in the Cleveland entourage in attendance, Nick Gilbert said, “I just had a feeling that we could get the top pick, which we did. Whoever we pick can hopefully help us make our final push into the playoffs.”
ESPN 850 WKNR’s Tony Rizzo accompanied the Gilbert’s to New York and led the cheers from the gallery, fist-pumping and shouting, “That a boy, Nicky! That a boy, Nick.”
Rizz will have complete details of the trip to NYC on The Really Big Show Wednesday on ESPN 850 WKNR.
Of possibly being the Cavs’ choice first overall, Noel said: “It would be a great thing for me, but I don’t want to assume anything. I’d be very fortunate to be the No. 1 pick…Cleveland would be a great place to play with an all-star point guard like Kyrie Irving and just a great front-court that they have now. I’m really looking forward to that, if that’s a possibility.”
Bruce Hooley hosts The Hooligans from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 850 WKNR. He is the author of, “That’s Why I’m Here: The Chris and Stefanie Spielman Story.”
Email Bruce firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Bruce on Twitter @bhoolz
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