NEW YORK — With Andrew Wiggins at No. 1, it was a big night for Canada and Kansas. And it better be the right one for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland went north of the border to open the NBA draft for the second straight year Thursday night, hoping Wiggins works out better than Anthony Bennett.
Thrilled to go first and even happier when Jayhawks teammate Joel Embiid went two picks later, Wiggins beamed in his black tuxedo jacket.
“A thousand thoughts are going through my head right now,” Wiggins said. “It’s a dream come true.”
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Bennett was injured last summer, came into the season out of shape and made no impact, one of the reasons the Cavs were back in this spot again.
But Wiggins seems a much more ready product after averaging a Kansas freshman-record 17.1 points. He might have ended up as the top pick anyway, but became the best option for the Cavs when Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his right foot shortly before the draft.
Milwaukee followed with another freshman, Duke forward Jabari Parker. Some consider him the more NBA-ready player after an All-American season for the Blue Devils, and getting to play in Milwaukee puts him near his family in Chicago.
Embiid went third to Philadelphia, drawing loud cheers from the many 76ers fans who made the trip to Barclays Center. The 76ers had two top-10 picks and could afford to take a chance on Embiid.
• Former Virginia All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Joe Harris from Chelan High School was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. Harris was the 33rd overall pick.
• Guard Xavier Thames, who started his career at Washington State before transferring to San Diego State, was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the No. 59 overall pick. He reportedly was then traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
• Doug McDermott of Creighton, the college player of the year last season, was taken by Denver at No. 11, then traded to Chicago for two players and a draft pick.
• Charlotte sent the rights to Shabazz Napier, the No. 24 pick who led Connecticut to the national championship last season, to Miami for the rights to former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston, the No. 26 pick.
• With no picks in this year’s draft, the Portland Trail Blazers still made news in offering All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge a maximum contract extension of $108 million for five years.
• The Denver Nuggets acquired veteran guard Arron Afflalo from the Orlando Magic for point guard Evan Fournier and a draft pick.