INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Pushing the drama until the last minute, the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned experts and their fans by selecting UNLV forward Anthony Bennett with the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.
It was the third straight year the Cavs made a surprise pick in the first round. Two years ago, they took forward Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick — after taking Kyrie Irving first — and selected guard Dion Waiters in the same spot a year ago. The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for UNLV.
The Cavs have been listening to trade offers for the pick since winning the lottery on May 21. Cleveland passed on centers Nerlens Noel and Alex Len, who are both recovering from injuries to take Bennett.
Bennett is the fifth No. 1 pick in Cavs history.