NEW YORK — Andrew Wiggins of Kansas was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.
The Cavs went for a freshman from Canada to open the draft for the second straight year and will hope Wiggins works out better than Anthony Bennett.
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 once Jayhawks teammate Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his right foot shortly before the draft.
Wearing a black tuxedo jacket with a white floral pattern, the guard slipped on a maroon Cleveland hat, hugged his supporters and went on stage to shake hands with Commissioner Adam Silver, who was calling the first round for the first time since replacing David Stern.
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Milwaukee followed with another freshman, Duke forward Jabari Parker, who on Wednesday disputed that he had was out of shape for his workout with Cleveland and performed poorly.
The Philadelphia 76ers then selected injured Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid with the third pick of the NBA draft.
Embiid had surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, and could miss anywhere up to a full season depending on how rehabilitation goes.
The versatile 7-footer had a fantastic freshman season with the Jayhawks, averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds while blocking 72 shots to earn Big 12 defensive player of the year honors.
Embiid already had some health questions, mostly regarding a balky back. Now he’s had foot surgery and could be out for up to six months.
The Sixers also had the 10th overall pick in the draft. They also have the Nos. 32, 39, 47, 52 and 54 overall picks.