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Friday, June 20, 2014
Cavs are worst drafting team in NBA

By Ryan Feldman, ESPN Stats & Information

David Richard/USA TODAY SportsAnthony Bennett is the latest top pick who is under performing for the Cleveland Cavaliers
For the second straight year and third time in four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the No. 1 pick -- all since losing LeBron James in 2010.

In seven seasons with James, the Cavs won 60.8 percent of their games, made five playoff appearances and won 42 playoff games. The Cavs have not made the playoffs since James left and they have won 31.1 percent of their games, the lowest win percentage in the NBA during that time.

Their lack of success on the court over the last four seasons could be attributed to a lack of success in the NBA Draft.

Over the last 10 NBA Drafts -- since they drafted James -- the Cavaliers are statistically the worst drafting team in the NBA.

The Cavaliers average draft pick is 2.4 win shares per season worse than the average win shares for that draft slot, among top-20 picks. Win shares are an estimate of the number of wins a player contributes to his team due to his offense and defense.

For example, the Cavaliers drafted Luke Jackson with the 10th pick in 2004. He produced a total of 0.2 win shares in four seasons for an average of 0.05 per season. The average No. 10 pick over the last 10 drafts has produced 3.95 win shares per season, for a difference of -3.9.

Only two of the Cavaliers' seven top-20 picks since 2004 have produced more win shares than the average for their draft position -- J.J. Hickson and Tristan Thompson. The other five -- Jackson, Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett and Sergey Karasev -- have performed below expectations in terms of win shares.

Since 1985, Bennett had the fewest win shares of any No. 1 pick in their rookie season, -0.4, which was slightly worse than Michael Olowokandi during his rookie campaign.

Best drafting teams

On the other end of the spectrum, the Indiana Pacers have been the most successful team in the NBA Draft over the last 10 years, followed by the Thunder/SuperSonics franchise. The Pacers successes include Paul George and Danny Granger, while the Thunder/SuperSonics successes include Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.