Tag:Kyrie Irving
Posted on: May 17, 2011 8:27 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 9:09 pm

2011 NBA Draft Lottery: Cavs get top pick

Cleveland Cavaliers win No.1 overall pick in 2011 NBA Draft. Utah Jazz move up to No. 3. 

Posted by Matt Moore

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA lottery, giving them a chance to move forward. The Minnesota Timberwolves managed not to fall out of the top three, landing at No.2, while the Utah Jazz jumped up to the No.3 spot. So two teams that lost their superstar in the past 12 months get a chance to start over in a top-heavy, shallow draft. The big losers are the Raptors, Wizards, and Kings who drop down significantly. 

The question has to start right now, where is Baron Davis going to play next year? Kyrie Irving is the consensus No.1 overall pick, and the piece to build around for the Cavs. Meanwhile, the Wolves have a big man cluster to deal with, as Derrick Williams will be on the board for a team with Kevin Love, Darko Milicic, and Wes Johnson brought in in the past two years. 

Lots of questions. We'll have an updated mock draft soon on CBSSports.com.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Utah Jazz
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Washington Wizards
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Bobcats
10. Milwaukee Bucks
11. Golden State Warriors
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets
15. Indiana Pacers
16. Philadelphia 76ers
17. New York Knicks
18. Washington Wizards
19. Charlotte Bobcats
20. Minnesota Timberwolves
21. Portland Trail Blazers
22. Denver Nuggets
23. Houston Rockets
24. Oklahoma City Thunder
25. Boston Celtics
26. Dallas Mavericks
27. New Jersey Nets
28. Chicago Bulls
29. San Antonio Spurs
30. Chicago Bulls
Posted on: April 8, 2011 3:25 pm

Friday 5 with KB 4.8.11: Balance and time

Posted by Matt Moore 

In this week's edition of the Friday 5 with KB, we see if the Celtics have time to get things right, if the Lakers should be concerned at all, and who needs Kyrie most?. All this and more in this week's Friday 5 with CBSSports.com's Ken Berger.  

1. Boston gets rolled by Chicago, and you write about how they're searching for an identity right now. Is the first round going to be easy enough for them to find it? Will the playoffs heal all wounds?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: I'm not so sure it's that simple with Boston this time. I do think if Doc can get the combinations right with the second unit, featuring Green, Krstic and Delonte, the Celtics can have a better second unit than they've had in the past. But without Perkins, they're going to struggle against bigger teams. It probably won't matter in the first round, and the value of gaining some confidence shouldn't be underestimated. But Boston has more flaws and uncertainty than they've had entering any other postseason with the Big Three.

2. The Lakers are stumbling backwards, and pretty much laughing it off. Is there any conceivable reason for the Lakers to try through these last four games, other than not messing with ticket holders?

KB: At this point, it's about finding the right balance of rest and sharpness -- especially where Kobe is concerned. Phil is a master at achieving this balance. Popovich is another coach who comes to mind who is great at it.

3. Knicks are a little banged up, and not deep at all to begin with, as we head towards the playoffs. What would be a reasonable result that would be considered a "good" end to the Knicks' season?

KB: The Knicks have many of the same flaws that they possessed before the trade -- lack of size and depth and no lockdown defender -- so a quick playoff exit shouldn't be considered a referendum on the Melo deal. I think stealing a game on the road in the first round would be a solid building block. Getting swept in four close games wouldn't be terribly disappointing or unexpected, especially against Boston or Miami. The fact is, whatever happens in the playoffs, the Knicks are ahead of where anyone could've reasonably expected them to be when Donnie Walsh took over for Isiah. They tore it down to the floorboards in two years, and have two superstars to build around going forward. If Anthony is engaged at both ends and Stoudemire is healthy/rested, they could create some real problems. But you have to take the long view.

4. Kyrie Irving came out in the draft this week. He's our No.1 overall pick. What lottery team needs him the most?

KB: Cleveland, for sure. The Cavs need to parlay one of the picks they've stockpiled into a superstar, and Irving fits the bill. They also have a good record of developing young players and a veteran point guard in place, so they don't have to rush Irving -- who clearly will need some seasoning. Minnesota, Toronto and Utah are the others. Sources say there's no way Irving slips past No. 4. Wolves GM David Kahn's confidence that Rubio is coming will be put to a serious test if Irving is on the board when Minnesota picks. With a lockout coming, it would be franchise suicide to pass on a talent like Irving and then have Rubio stay overseas.

5. NBA owners meeting next Friday. What are the hot points that could come out of that meeting?

KB: Depending on how long it takes for league execs to review all the documents associated with the Pistons sale, which was finalized Friday, that could come up for a vote -- but league sources say it there's no chance things will be ready in timen. If it can't be put to a vote next week, owners could always vote by other means at a later date. The other issue up in the air is the Kings' relocation. As of Friday, there was still nothing final to vote on. Much of the discussion figures to center around everyone's favorite topic, labor.
Posted on: April 6, 2011 5:22 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 5:25 pm

Likely No. 1 Kyrie Irving to enter NBA draft

Posted by Royce Young

It looks like the Cavs definitely have a little something to tank for now. Duke has announced that guard Kyrie Irving will enter the NBA draft.

Irving isn't a sure thing to go No. 1 overall because it'll depend a bit on who gets the top pick (what if it's the Wolves -- would they dare?) but he is the agreed upon best player on the draft.

In CBSSports.com's first mock draft, Irving is going first overall to the Cavs. Ben Golliver wrote:
When you're as desperate as Cleveland is in the wake of LeBron James's departure, reliability is the surest route to a comeback. Kyrie Irving is the risk-free pick at the top: He clearly has an NBA position, he has his head on his shoulders, he displays all the leadership qualities and intangibles to build around, and he can shoot the rock. The Cavaliers have needs everywhere but they need to walk before they can run. A reasonable best-case scenario in the short term is that Irving blossoms to carry a lesser cast to big things, a la a young Chris Paul; The worst-case is that you have a solid floor general locked in for years to come.
He's a 6-2 point guard from New Jersey and despite playing in just 11 games because of a toe injury, Irving displayed a wide range of ability in the NCAA tournament. In those 11 contests he averaged 17.5 points 3.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and 46 percent from 3.

In Duke's final game of the tournament, Irving scored 28 against Arizona for the Blue Devils.

Again, it's not a sure thing that Irving will go No. 1, but he definitely will be the best available player. A lot of the bad teams though are sort of settled at point guard, so it'll be interesting to see what happens if Washington or Sacramento (depending on your perspective of Tyreke Evans) or New Jersey lands it. If Cleveland or Toronto win the lottery, I'm sure it's a no doubt situation.

The draft is June 23 in New York City.
Category: NBA
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:33 am

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Kyrie Irving is reportedly leaning towards entering his name in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving had a great season for Duke. That you can say that considering he missed almost the entirety of the season with a foot injury shows you just how good he was. When Irving returned for the NCAA tournament, there was concerned he would be rusty. Instead, he was his usual brilliant self. Duke's early exit from the tournament thanks to Derrick Williams and company for Arizona was the only thing stopping a fairytale story. But having missed so much of the season, would Irving want to wait to assure himself the top pick? Would the likely lockout prevent him from making the jump to the pros this soon?

Apparently not. 

ESPN reports that Irving is "leaning strongly toward declaring for the NBA Draft."  With Jared Sullinger stating publicly and emphatically that he's returning to Ohio State, it would pretty much be down to a two-man race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. From there it would really just end up as a question of need for the team in the top spot. 

The lockout complicates matters here. If Irving does declare, he'll be drafted before the current CBA expires, but will not have his contract negotiated until after the lockout. So the question of whether he'll be under current or new salary structures for rookies is unclear. An interesting note, however. NBA players are paid on various calendars, but in most cases, rookies don't receive their first check until November. So should a lockout extend for six months, say until the beginning of 2012, Irving would only really lose two paychecks in that scenario, as opposed to six. 

Irving has the complete package. Prior to the summer of 2010, Brandon Knight was considered the top freshman point guard and expected top overall pick. But Irving absolutely exploded in summer play, and then showed even more on the national stage at Duke. He's at an elite level in terms of touch, speed, agility, handle, and play-making ability. He doesn't have John Wall's vision, but he has a better jump shot to start. He's a total package, provided that his foot checks out after a physical. 

Should the Cavaliers land the top spot based off what will be the worst record in the league, it's easy to see them passing on Irving. Not only do they have salary tied into Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, but going for a big is the more traditional route. The Kings, however, would likely love to find Irving available. That scenario could lead to Tyreke Evans moving to small forward, creating a devastating lineup of Irving, Marcus Thornton, and Evans, with DeMarcus Cousins down low. That's Thunder 2008 stuff. 

Irving could still decide to return next season, should his foot have issues, draft evaluations come back lower than expected, or Coach K pulls some Magic, again.  But with Austin Rivers as widely acclaimed entering the season, the logical choice is to make the jump, take the money now, and ensure a high pick. Irving looks every bit the next NBA star. 
Posted on: March 25, 2011 2:14 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 2:27 am

Duke's Kyrie Irving still the right pick at No. 1

Duke University was bounced out of the NCAA tournament, but Blue Devils point guard Kyrie Irving should still be the 2011 NBA Draft's No. 1 pick. Posted by kyrie-irvingBen Golliver.

The Arizona Wildcats bounced the Duke Blue Devils from the NCAA tournament on Thursday with a resounding 93-77 victory. The blowout nature of the loss and the disappointment of not repeating will likely bring about a lot of questions for the Blue Devils. Would Duke have been better off leaving point guard Kyrie Irving, who had missed months with a toe injury, out of the rotation? Should Irving come back for another season to exact revenge after such a disappointing defeat? 

One thing that shouldn't be questioned: Irving, who finished with a team-high 28 points, three assists and a steal in 31 minutes off the bench, should be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft if he decides to declare. While he wasn't the best player on the court on Thursday night -- that honor goes to dominant Arizona forward Derrick Williams, who put up 32 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, plus some insane highlight-reel dunks  -- he is the best pro prospect, the smart money pick at the top of the board. Here's three good reasons why.

1. He has a position and it's an impact position

Iriving -- listed at 6'2" and 180 or 185 -- has solid size for the point guard position but, more importantly, he is equipped with the mentality that separates the league's best young point guards from the pack. He's opportunistic, he understands the importance of an offensive system and he isn't afraid to call his own number -- all in one package. 

There's no concern here, as there is with countless other prospects, about whether he's a combo guard, a swing forward or a two-position/no-position post player. He is a point guard in size, skillset and temperament, at least by our modern definition which requires the floor general to be able to fill it up when necessary too. Ask the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Hornets how important that combination is to team success.

2. He can shoot and he exercises good shot selection

Efficiency is one of those late-developing traits, an ability that sometimes just never shows up. While Irving does need to clean up some issues with his turnovers, his 9-15 shooting from the field on Thursday was typically excellent, bolstered by his ability to get to the foul line nine times as well. Irving has an innate ability to understand what's a good shot and the restraint to lay off lower-percentage looks that you don't often find from a player his age. This will speed his transition into the NBA game and also, I think, make him a bigger impact player more quickly than some might give him credit for because he's not a jaw-dropping, freak athlete.

3. Defensive intangibles

Arizona's guards got off a little bit on Thursday, but there was plenty to like from Irving's defense. He's quick side-to-side, he's comfortable picking up ball pressure well outside the college three, he trusts his positioning and he doesn't succumb to "happy feet". Off the ball, he's an active participant in defensive schemes, calling out switches and talking regularly. He shows a commitment to leadership on both ends that you don't often see.  He's also just a generally "locked in" player who will have the ability to command respect. 

Final Thoughts

Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently said that his team considers flaws as much as it does strengths in evaluating prospects. Irving is simply absent of the most common flaws that trip up prospects. As discussed, there are no questions about his position, his intelligence or basketball intelligence, his commitment, his body, or his work ethic. And then, on top of that clean package, he's a player that can shoot and seems to enjoy working hard on defense. There's too much to like.

Irving's flaws -- whether he lacks John Wall's open court ability or Derrick Rose's strength -- are relatively small, of the nitpicking variety. At the top of the draft board, a guaranteed home run is a better play than a potential grand slam. Irving is a guaranteed home run.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 24, 2011 7:39 pm

Sweet 16 NBA Prospect Review: Thursday

The top prospects in Thursday's Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament action.
Posted by Matt Moore

By the end of the weekend, there will be four NCAA tournament teams left. For whatever reason, four teams remaining is a big deal in college basketball, and not in the NBA (how many Western Conference Finalists get remembered by the average NBA fan after four or five years?). And at the end of this weekend, some young men will have some interesting decisions to make regarding their futures with their tournament and possibly college careers over. 

With that, here's a look at the players to watch in Thursday night's Sweet 16 action. 

Jimmer Fredette, PG, BYU: We've talked about Fredette at length, you should know the book on him by now. He's small. He's unathletic. He's not good defensively. But he's a scorer, and a brilliant one at that. Thursday night is a good opportunity to see how Fredette does against a defense that will gear specifically to stop him. The person across the floor from him will be Kenny Boynton, who's similarly sized. Florida coach Billy Donovan says that the Gators aren't just gameplanning for Fredette, but he has to be considering sending help at the superstar. If so, this gives us a good idea of how Fredette will handle more aggressive schemes from better defenses, which gets closer to what he'll see in the NBA.

Derrick Williams, F, Arizona: You no doubt have the book on the other gents on this list. But Derrick Williams is the guy who made the biggest impact the first weekend of the tournament. Those two huge blocks he made are the kind of defensive plays that get coaches, scouts, and GM's excited, far more than dropping 30-plus through 35-foot threes. Williams also has the ability to work in the post and his touch around the basket also wowed evaluators. Against Duke, Williams will be working against a formidable frontline of the Plumlees, and should he put up a similar performance on both sides of the ball, he could move from top-five to the top overall pick if things go right. But against Duke, that's a pretty tall order. 

Kemba Walker, G, UConn: Walker keeps putting up huge performances, and the questions remain about his ability to do so against NBA competition. Walker could go a long way to improving his stock by being more of a playmaker and less of a pure scorer against San Diego State. 

Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke: Irving looked like the same player who's topped draft lists for months before his injury.  He distributed well, saw the floor, hit from the perimeter, nailed the runner, the works. But against Arizona, he'll face a much stiffer test, and his conditioning will likely play a bigger impact in his third and fourth games back. If he continues to dazzle, his return to Duke will become less and less sure, despite comments this week that he intends to return next season.  
Posted on: March 18, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 10:39 pm

Prospect Watch: Irving makes triumphant return

How did some of the NBA's top prospects do the first Friday of the NCAA tournament? Posted by Ben Golliver.

Kyrie Irving, Duke: 14 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block

The projected No. 1 pick of the 2011 NBA Draft delighted college and pro basketball fans alike with news that he would make his return to the court during the first round of the NCAA tournament. As Irving hadn't touched the court since December due to a toe injury, the pre-game questions were more about how he would fit in chemistry-wise rather than how polished his play would be after all the time off. 

On both counts Irving's Friday performance was a smashing success, although his fill-up-the-boxscore effort came against much weaker competition. As Irving has nowhere to go but down when it comes to his draft stock, he didn't really show scouts anything he hasn't shown before. However, he did look like his normal self and that's enough for just about everyone. More dimes in the next round will have everyone breathing totally easy once again. For more on Irving, check out this column for CBSSports.com by Eric Angevine.

Harrison Barnes, UNC: 24 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two steals

The rout was on for North Carolina on day one as they rolled up 102 points en route to hammering Long Island University. Barnes' stat line was impressive but his efficiency wasn't exactly consistent, as he shot 7-9 on two-point field goals while bombing away (errantly) to the tun of 2-10 from downtown. Still, his highlight reel smoothness with the ball in his hands was evident and he compensated for his quick trigger by hitting the glass hard. 

Something to keep an eye on as the tournament progresses: turnovers. Barnes finished with a team-high four on Friday, understandable given it was his first taste of the tournament stage as a freshman. Possessions are a premium at the next level, though, especially for top-flight wing scorers that need touches in volume. 

Derrick Williams, Arizona: 22 points, 10 rebounds, one block

It's safe to say that Williams, a versatile forward, won the highlight of the day as he helped secure a dramatic victory in a back-and-forth game with Memphis by blocking a last-second shot attempt. It was his only block of the night, but plays like that have a way of enduring in the memory, especially if Arizona can mount a bit of a run through their region. 

Williams scored 22 points on just 11 shots, hitting all nine of his free throws and exerting his physical presence against a smaller Memphis team. He showed the ability to finish while taking contact and also stepped out to confidently knock down the only three-pointer that he attempted. He displayed the full offensive arsenal.

For more on Williams, check out CBSSports.com's Eye on College Basketball Blog.

Tristan Thompson, Texas: 17 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocks, one assist

Thompson will almost certainly be a late riser up the NBA mock draft boards this spring as his solid frame, elite timing and aggressive attitude will translate excellently to the pro game. His seven blocks were certainly not by accident, as his long arms and quick springs let him contest and alter shots many other players would simply watch go over their heads.

Thompson essentially traded baskets and rebounds with Oakland senior Keith Benson, a player to whom he gives up three inches of height. Thompson's length and instincts more than make up for his average height for a power forward (6'8") and his ability to get low to establish rebounding position is essential at the next level. His buzz will only grow stronger.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:10 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:22 pm

Shootaround 12.09.10: Rocking out with Rony

Former NBA player turns club DJ, questions about Tyreke Evans' foot, Derek Fisher drops the Clippers, the Blazers fret about a lockout, Antoine Walker airballs a free throw, and a bunch more. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Former Miami Heat center Rony Seikaly is now a party DJ playing in clubs across the globe, the New York Times reports. “I’m not doing this to be a celebrity,” Seikaly said. “I’m not doing this to become famous. I’m doing this just to share the love, and to share the music.”
  • Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, "could miss the rest of the season with a right toe injury," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com