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Cleveland wins top pick in NBA draft

For the second time in three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

"It's huge for us," Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said after Cleveland won the draft lottery Tuesday. "This is our third year in a row in the lottery. Hopefully, it's our last for a long, long time."

The Cavaliers chose LeBron James No. 1 overall in 2003 and took Kyrie Irving No. 1 overall in 2011.

The 2013 draft is scheduled for June 27 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Orlando Magic, who had the best chance to receive the No. 1 pick at 25 percent in the lottery draw, will choose second. The Washington Wizards got the No. 3 pick despite having just a 3.5 percent shot at the No. 1 overall pick.

Cleveland, still reeling from James' decision to head to Miami, now has had some good luck. The Cavaliers had a 15.6 percent chance of getting the top pick.

"Two out of three years -- we'll take it," Gilbert said. "For us, it's about the city of Cleveland, giving them more hope as we build the franchise and try to get to the level we all want it to go to."

The lottery included the NBA's 14 non-playoff teams with chances for the top picks weighted based on regular-season records. Orlando posted a 20-62 record and was guaranteed a top-four pick.

The top overall prospect is arguably Nerlens Noel, the Kentucky freshman recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament with a projected return date around Christmas. Noel injured his left knee Feb. 21, and his defined NBA skill --defense -- isn't going to create a queue of trade suitors. However, he's just 19 years old, and at 6-foot-10, he brings obvious potential because of his athleticism and length. Best-case scenario: Noel is an instant protector of the rim with his penchant for blocked shots and rebounds and eventually develops a modest offensive game.

"I feel I should be the top pick because I'm a great teammate, I really care about where I'm going to play and I'm going to give all my heart and 100 percent effort to get my team back to the promised land, which is where we all want to be," he said before the lottery.

A shooting guard hasn't been selected first since the 1975 NBA Draft, but David Thompson could be joined by Kansas freshman Ben McLemore, whom some NBA executives describe as a "safe" choice. But McLemore, 6-5, 200 pounds, with enough range to adjust quickly to the NBA game, didn't stand out in a positive way at last week's draft combine in Chicago.

"Just coming from nowhere, coming from nothing, just being able to have the opportunity get a No. 1 spot is just a blessing," McLemore said. "I'm going to work for it the same way as (Noel). He's going to work for it, and I'm going to work for it. It definitely is neck-and-neck."

Other potential top picks include two other freshmen -- Michigan point guard Trey Burke and UCLA small forward Shabazz Muhammad.