Cavaliers lose season, but gain dates for lottery and draft

Sam Amico

Everyone else's good news turned out to be bad news for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

How so?

Well, the NBA announced its plans to return after a vote from team owners Thursday. The season is now (almost) officially scheduled to resume July 31 at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

And the Cavs' season is officially over.


Because the NBA decided to finish the season with solely teams in playoff contention at the hiatus March 11 (22 teams in all). The Cavs were 19-46 at the time and are not among them.

So say goodnight, the party (or at least what’s left of the season) is over in Cleveland.

“While we are disappointed that the announced return to play proposal excludes the Cleveland Cavaliers, we understand all of the unprecedented factors that contributed to this outcome and we accept the hard decisions Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA’s Board of Governors had to make," Cavs general manager Koby Altman and coach J.B. Bickerstaff said in a joint statement. "We also respect the exhaustive and life-altering measures that were considered as a result of COVID-19, but as a team, we greatly desired to be a part of the season’s resumption."

That's the bad news. But hey, there was some good, too.

For the Cavs, it all starts Aug. 25, the announced date for the draft lottery. Since the Cavs have the second-worst record in the entire league, they share the best odds of winning the whole thing. 

(As an aside, it could be the Golden State Warriors, owners of the worst record, who yet again stand in their way.)

After the lottery, the Cavs can use their time to prepare for the 2020 NBA Draft, scheduled for Oct. 15.

Along with the Cavs and Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets will all take part in the lottery. Everyone else will draft according to record, just as it is usually done.

So let the offseason begin again in Cleveland. And for a team such as the Cavs, that's not so bad.

Other than that, the Cavs can set their sights on training camp. For the 2020-21 season, it’s expected to resume in early November with the regular season schedule to begin as soon as a month after that. 

"Although the time away from our incredible fanbase in Cleveland and across Northeast Ohio is unfortunate, we look forward to finding ways to continue utilizing our platform and available resources to reach out in our community to help affect change and take sustainable action in the fight against racial injustice," Altman and Bickerstaff said.

"We are looking forward to returning to the court for the 2020-21 NBA season.”