In a prospect field that lacks any overwhelming favorite to be taken atop the 2011 NBA Draft, Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving stands as the favorite to be taken in the late June draft by a team determined tonight at the NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN.
The 6-2 guard lacks the elite hype that comes with a draft’s top choice, but he boasts an overall game that lacks any real weakness. He’s a great floor leader with strong basketball instincts and intelligence with the skills on both the sides of the floor to be an asset at the position. He lacks the flashy skills of a Derrick Rose type of pick, but he will definitely become a dependable impact player for some team picking first.
Chad Ford has Irving going first overall, as long as the team selecting first has a need at point guard. With the Minnesota Timberwolves, that certainly holds true even with recent picks of Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn in the Top 6. The same can be said for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors, the two next teams with the best chance at the first selection.
DraftExpress.com also has Irving going No. 1 overall, and a recent ESPN roundtable of five sportswriters all had Irving as the consensus No. 1 choice. At this point, unless it’s the Washington Wizards who end up with the top overall selection, it should be safe to assume the franchise that wins the NBA Draft Lottery is specifically winning Kyrie Irving.