Cleveland Cavaliers

NBA Draft 2011: Kyrie Irving's Draft Position Is Overrated

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Kyrie Irving #1 of the Duke Blue Devils waits to enter the game while taking on the Michigan Wolverines during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Washington's BulletContributor IIApril 24, 2011

Kyrie Irving is expected to be one of the first players taken off the board in the 2011 NBA Draft.

He will most likely to end up in either Cleveland, Toronto or Minnesota.  If Washington were to land the first pick, they would probably pass on him in favor of either Derrick Williams or Enes Kanter.

What has Kyrie Irving accomplished to prove that he is worthy of being a top three pick in the NBA? Since we have seen relatively little from Irving, and even fewer meaningful highlights, why is he projected to go first overall?         

Irving is 6'2" and 180 pounds; he will not physically dominate anyone in the NBA.  

Furthermore, there is a chance that he is injury prone.  He only participated in eight games his freshman year.  To be fair, it is possible that his college injury was a one-time injury.

When Duke lost in the NCAA tournament, Irving did not play at a level expected of a No. 1 NBA Draft choice.  In 31 minutes, he recorded no rebounds and only three assists.  His offensive numbers, however, were stronger and he was able to get to the free-throw line nine times.  

Not bad, but remember we are discussing a potential No. 1 NBA Draft choice.

Due to his injury, Irving has virtually no experience at the college level.  How can anyone claim he is NBA ready?  All of the teams that are interested in him need help now.  Are any of them going to want to put several years into developing an untested point guard?

When he played at Duke, in the McDonald's All-American game and for the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, he was surrounded by excellent scorers, making his job as a distributor much easier.  Even in high school he played with Michael Gilchrist, who is considered to be one of the best high school players in the country.  

He has never faced adversity or played without being surrounded by great players.  Despite this, he has relatively little success.  Aside from winning the Gold in the FIBA U18 Championship, he lost the McDonald's All-American Game and fell to Arizona in the Sweet 16.  Does he have the intangibles that will a player to victory?   

There is a chance that taking Kyrie Irving with the first pick is like getting another Mo Williams or Eric Maynor. 

Is it worth the risk?

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