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Cavaliers make Duke’s Irving No. 1 pick

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Associated Press
June 24, 2011
— Kyrie Irving headed to Cleveland as the No. 1 pick minutes after the NBA draft started.

Plenty other players, from veterans to picks, were on the move Thursday night in a draft that some considered a dud but certainly wasn’t dull.


There was no chance the Cavs would deal Irving, confident his foot is healthy enough to lead the rebuilding effort that follows LeBron James’ departure.


Loudly cheered by family and friends not far from where he starred at St. Patrick’s High School in Elizabeth, the Duke point guard showed no signs of the toe injury on his right foot that limited him to 11 games last season as he walked up the stairs to shake hands with Commissioner David Stern.


“I didn’t have any doubts about going to No. 1. I was looking to the organization to pick who they felt was the right choice,” Irving said. “But now to this moment, from being a fan of the NBA draft and now being drafted, it’s a special feeling in my heart and knowing that my friends and family were together, it’s a memory I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”


A three-team trade that included Charlotte, Milwaukee and Sacramento that had been agreed to earlier in the day wasn’t approved until midway through the second round, forcing Fredette to wait about 2½ hours for his NBA destination to be determined after he was taken with the No. 10 pick by the Bucks.


“Took a little while waiting back there, but it’s a great moment for me and for my family, and for the Sacramento Kings organization,” the player of the year from BYU said. “Hopefully their fan base is excited because I’m really excited to get out there and start the season with them and have a great year.”


A draft that included a record four international players who didn’t play at a U.S. college selected in the lottery soon became dominated by deals, which the NBA was still hustling to approve and announce as the second round wound down.



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