Sports 247

2011′s NBA Draft

Despite predictions that the NBA draft would be a bit duller than usual given the lack of stand-out talent to create a big buzz, it seems that most fans were more than entertained and interested, in part due to a large number of deals that went through. The NBA may be a week away from a work stoppage but that didn’t stop speculation about the year’s upcoming teams. Items of note:

Kyrie Irving, a graduate of Duke University was the No. 1 pick only moments after the draft started. After an injury that kept him seated for most of the season (Irving played only 11 games this past year), the freshman guard was thrilled to be chosen first and expressed a great deal of excitement about getting to Cleveland and embracing the team and fans there. Irving is the first AAC pick since 1999 (Duke’s Elton Brand) and the ninth overall.

There were an unusually large number of international players drafted this year, including a record four who did not play at a U.S. college or university. There were six international players drafted overall, including Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunus who went fifth and Czech Republic’s Jan Vesely who went sixth. The Congo’s Bismack Biyombo went seventh as part of a three-way deal between Charlotte, Milwaukee, and Sacramento.

As a result of the three-way deal, it was a long wait – about two and a half hours – for Jimmer Fredette to learn that he would be heading to Sacramento to play for the Kings.

The Minnesota Timerberwolves took Derrick Williams as the #2 pick and announced that fans would see him in a Timerwolve’s uniform next year- no trades are happening there!

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