The 6-foot-2 Irving averaged 17.5 points while shooting 53 percent from the field, 46 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the foul line.
He returned from his injury in time to play in the NCAA tournament — where his Blue Devils were overwhelmed by Derrick Williams in Arizona’s round of 16 victory — and he said that proves there should be no question about his health.
“Playing in the NCAA tournament was the deciding factor for me,” Irving said. “If I didn’t play in the NCAA tournament, I would have been back at Duke for my sophomore season. I just wanted to kind of limit all the questions on my health and durability.”
Williams was chosen as the second overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Utah Jazz selected Enes Kanter of Turkey as the third overall.
Cleveland used the number four pick to nab forward Tristan Thompson and Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania goes to the Toronto Raptors to round out the top 5 picks.
Followed by Jan Vesely ( #6 Washington Wizards), Bismack Biyombo (#7 Sacramento Kings), Brandon Knight (#8 Detroit Pistons), Kemba Walker (#9 Charlotte Bobcats), Jimmer Fredette (#10 Milwaukee Bucks), and Klay Thompson (#11 Golden State Warriors).
The #7 pick is a part of Sacramento’s proposed trade to the Bobcats and Milwaukee’s #10 is included in a trade proposal to Sacramento.