Sources say the only way the Cavaliers won't draft Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick is if their team doctors find some major red flags in his physical.
It's close to being a lock.
Irving's college career consisted of 11 games because of a right toe injury, similar to turf toe.
At one point during his freshman season at Duke, he was worried. He was injured on Dec. 8 and missed the next 2 1/2 months. He said he called his father, Drederick Irving, and asked him a very important question.
"I asked him if I was still going to come out this year," Irving said. "He said, 'Yeah, you're fine.' I didn't believe it until I came back for the NCAA Tournament and I was still rated the best so-called prospect. That was something I was worried about the whole entire season while I was hurt.
"My father kept me grounded, kept on telling me good things I needed to hear to get me through the process."
In two of the previous three NBA drafts, upper-echelon point guards were all the rage and were picked No. 1.
History could repeat itself in 2011.
"It would definitely be an honor being in such company as John Wall and Derrick Rose," Irving said at the NBA draft combine. "They are really special players. I want to be as special or close to their range. "
Neither he nor Arizona forward Derrick Williams worked out at the combine. They only went through the medical testing. Irving's agent, Jeff Wechsler, figures his client's stock can't soar any higher in the draft. He could only drop.
F J.J. Hickson was one of the league's most productive power forwards in the second half of the season. In 45 games since Jan. 9, he had 26 double-doubles. He closed the season with a string of 11 double-doubles in his last 13 games when he averaged 19.1 points and 12.5 rebounds and shot 51.3 percent from the field.
Fans weren't sure he was a building block heading into the offseason. Now, he's changing perceptions. He looks like a player who deserves a hefty long-term deal.
A 26-game losing streak tore the heart out of the season. After beating the New York Knicks in overtime on Dec. 18, the Cavs didn't win again until Feb. 11. That included a 0-16 January. Along the way, they suffered a 55-point loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 11, 112-57.
The losing streak was an NBA record. It also tied the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the longest losing streak in professional sports history.
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