NEWARK, N.J. — The Cleveland Cavaliers selected 19-year-old Duke point guard Kyrie Irving as the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night in Newark, N.J.
Former BYU star Jimmer Fredette went 10th to the Milwaukee Bucks but entered Friday discussing his future as a newly-crowned King after a pre-arranged three-team trade, which included the Charlotte Bobcats, sent him to Sacramento.
“We think he’ll fit in really well with our roster,” Kings coach Paul Westphal told The Sacramento Bee. “I hesitate to say until we get out there and get after it, but I think of him as a point guard. He plays the pick-and-roll really well. He’s a good passer. Obviously, he’s a great shooter.”
Irving became the third point guard to go first in the draft in the last four years, following 2011′s NBA MVP Derrick Rose and John Wall, and was Cleveland’s first No. 1 pick since LeBron James.
“To hear my name get called was a dream come true,” Irving told ESPN. “I’m look forward to getting to Cleveland. It’s good to finally get the cap on.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves took the University of Arizona’s 6-foot-8 forward Derrick Williams, 20, with the second pick. He will link up with Spaniard Ricky Rubio, the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, whose long-awaited Wolves arrival was confirmed last week.
The Utah Jazz picked giant Turkish 19-year-old Enes Kanter at No.3. At 6-foot-11 and 262 pounds, Kanter has already been tipped as a future star and reportedly wants to become a WWE wrestler after his NBA career.
The Cavs made a surprising selection with the No.4 pick, taking 20-year-old power forward Tristan Thompson from the University of Texas.
The Toronto Raptors took the highly-rated 6-foot-11, 19-year-old center Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas with the No.5 pick.
It was the first time two international players made the top five since Yao Ming and Nikoloz Tskitishvili in 2002. Even first pick Irving was born in Australia, though he holds dual nationality.
The foreign theme continued with Czech small forward Jan Vesely being taken sixth by the Washington Wizards and Bismack Biyombo of Congo going seventh, eventually to Charlotte as part of the Fredette deal.
The Detroit Pistons took former Kentucky guard Brandon Knight with the eighth pick before former UConn star Kemba Walker, who led the team to the NCAA Championship, was selected by the Bobcats.
Fredette, who averaged 28.9 points in his senior BYU season, came next.
In addition to the rights to Fredette, the Kings received guard John Salmons from Milwaukee, while sending guard Beno Udrih to the Bucks, who also got Stephen Jackson, Shaun Livingston and the rights to No. 19 pick Tobias Harris from the Bobcats.
In return, Charlotte took Corey Maggette from Milwaukee and the rights to the No. 7 pick Biyombo, who was originally taken by the Kings.