The Cleveland Cavaliers are clawing through the 2018-19 season, and according to a report from Adam Fromal of BleacherReport.com, their struggles are giving them the best chance to draft Duke University standout Zion Williamson.
Williamson and the Cavs have been tied to one another since the start of the season, and now that the regular season is more than halfway behind us, the two parties seem more tied to one another than ever.
In the report, four metrics were established to have meaningful impact when it comes to deciding who will have the most likely chance at claiming the top pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft.
“Four metrics matter: win percentage, net rating, net rating over the last 10 games and remaining strength of schedule, per Tankathon (harder is better, for our purposes),” Fromal wrote. “By summing the z-scores in each of the four categories for all 30 teams in the Association, we can come up with the ultimate tanking hierarchy, ranging from the Milwaukee Bucks (6.694), Toronto Raptors (4.669) and Golden State Warriors (3.166) to our five glaringly negative representatives.”
When the calculations were complete, the Cavs had the worst cumulative score of minus-6.175.
“We won’t sugarcoat this one. The Cavaliers are easily the most futile team in the league right now, and they’ve been playing even worse basketball as the season progresses,” the article continued. “They have the lowest win percentage, the No. 30 net rating and a score that’s trended in the wrong direction during recent weeks. They also have the second-toughest schedule of our five leading Zion Williamson suitors.
“At least there’s a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel that can jump out of the gym…unless the ping-pong balls bounce the wrong way.”
Williamson has stunned fans throughout the college basketball season and is currently averaging 21.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He’s logged eight double-double performances in 16 games so far this season.
While his production is impressive, it’s his potential that has executives throughout the NBA salivating. At 6-foot-7 and 285 pounds, Williamson has shown stunning athleticism that makes him a menace anywhere near the basket. In fact, his stunning physical ability has already drawn quite a bit of comparison to former Cavs star LeBron James.
In the end, only time will tell whether or not the Cavs are lucky enough to be awarded the first overall pick by season’s end.