He wasn't number one on your NBA mock draft, but Anthony Bennett's name was called first this evening at the 2013 NBA Draft. This was the Cleveland Cavaliers second number one pick in the past three years.
Bennett will join 2011's first overall pick Kyrie Irving on a Cavaliers team that has not reached the playoffs since the departure of Lebron James. The Cavs receive a 6'8" power forward with athleticism, the ability to score from beyond the perimeter and a great rebounder, with a long wingspan. In one season at UNLV, Bennett led his team in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game and just over eight rebounds. His freshman effort was enough to earn him Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors and first team all-conference accolades.
Bennett becomes the highest drafted Canadian player in league history, surpassing his future teammate Tristan Thompson, who was selected fourth overall in 2011. "I'm just real happy and blessed for this opportunity," Bennett told NBA TV, after stepping on stage and shaking the commissioner's hand. "I thank God for everything."
Analysts had previously projected a multitude of other players being selected first in this year's draft, including former University of Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel. The UK standout slipped to the number six slot due to injury concerns, and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
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