Kyree Irving Goes Number One in NBA Draft
Kyrie Irving, the college basketball sensation who was born in Melbourne, has been picked up the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first pick in the NBA draft.
Irving was born in Melbourne while his father Drederick was playing for the semi-professional Bullen Bombers in 1992.
Irving becomes the second Australian born player in the last seven years to go number one draft after Andrew Bogut achieved a similar feat back in 2005.
And in good news for Australian fans, Irving has expressed interest in playing for the Boomers at international level.
“It would be great to play for my country, which is primarily Australia, I was born there and I want to represent Australia. Just to be able to play for Australia, for my country, it would be a great opportunity,” Irving said.
“I really think I’ll have a better chance of playing for Australia than the USA just because I’m going to be a young player in the league.
“When it applies to the Olympics, and making a decision, I have to claim Australia as my country.”
Despite the fact that Irving has dual Australian-US Citezenship, and carries both passports, his bid to play for Australia may be derailed by the fact that he has represented America at under age level.
Irving was recruited to Duke University, one of the most prestigious basketball colleges in America, straight out of High School.
Irving’s talent was evident immediately, however a toe injury forced him out for a large part of the season, limiting his first season of college basketball to just eleven games.
The young point guard played just 300 minutes of college basketball, however the Cavs saw enough of him to select him as the man to take the franchise forward.
Irving managed a very impressive shooting percentage of 61.5 in his time with the Blue-Devils. He was also among the top three point shooters in college basketball with a percentage of 46. He averaged 17.5 points and 4.3 assists per game.
The size of Irving’s contract will not be known until the NBA and the players union sought out a new collective bargaining agreement, but he is expected to fetch anywhere between 9 and 28 million dollars for a multi-year deal.
Irving comes into a Cavaliers team coming off the worst year in the history of the franchise. The Cavs never recovered from losing LeBron James in the off season, and they finished with just 19 wins from 82 games. They also set the record for the longest losing streak in the history of the NBA. Between December and February, the Cavs lost 26 straight games.
Arizona forward Derrick Williams was selected with the second pick, while Turkey’s Enes Kanter, who was pick three, is one of four European players to go in the top ten.
Top Ten NBA Draft Picks.
1. Kyrie Irving (Duke – Cleveland Cavaliers)
2. Derrick Williams (Arizona – Minnesota Timberwolves)
3. Enes Kanter (Turkey – Utah Jazz)
4. Tristain Thompson (Texas – Cleveland Cavaliers)
5. Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania – Toronto Raptors)
6. Jan Vesley (Czech Republic – Washington Wizards)
7. Bismack Biyombo (Spain – Sacramento Kings)
8. Brandon Knight (Kentucky – Detroit Pistons)
9. Kemba Walker (Connecticut – Charlotte Bobcats)
10. Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young – Milwaukee Bucks)