Friday, June 24, 2011

Kyrie Irving


Kyrie Irving headed to Cleveland as the No. 1 pick minutes after the NBA draft started.
Jimmer Fredette had to wait hours to officially become a member of the Sacramento Kings.
Plenty other players, from veterans to picks, were on the move Thursday night in a draft that was considered a dud talent-wise 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.
"I didn't have any doubts about going 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.
As part of the three-way deal, Stephen Jackson was sent to Milwaukee, Corey Maggette landed in Charlotte, and John Salmons returned to Sacramento.
In other notable trades:

  • Portland acquired guard Raymond Felton from Denver for veteran guard Andre Miller.

  • The Blazers traded swingman Rudy Fernandez to Dallas for draft picks.

  • Indiana traded the rights to No. 15 pick Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State to San Antonio for George Hill, who averaged 11.6 points and 2.5 assists last season.
    Labor: With NBA stars from veteran Kevin Garnett to Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin standing behind him, union president Derek Fisher said that players won't accept a bad deal to avert a work stoppage.
    "We'd love to avoid a lockout, but we're unified in the sense of not being afraid if that's what we're faced with," the Lakers guard said.
    Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Celtics, the Clippers' Griffin, the Hornets' Chris Paul and Jason Terry of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks were among the 60 players who joined Fisher at the front of the news conference.
    Pacers: Former Lakers lead assistant and Oakland native Brian Shaw has spoken to Indiana, though it's unclear what his role might be with the team. Pacers president Larry Bird has called interim coach Frank Vogel the front-runner for the head coaching position from the beginning of the search and has never wavered from that position. Bird said Tuesday that it would help Vogel to bring in a "top assistant."
    Lakers: Forward Ron Artest wants to change his name to Metta World Peace. Artest's attorney filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking the change. The 31-year-old NBA star was born Ronald William Artest Jr. In the court documents, Artest cites personal reasons for wanting to make the change.


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