Raps Pick Valanciunas, Big Nights for Canadians in Draft

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FOLLOW COREY DSOUZA ON TWITTER @COREYDSOUZA & NPH @NORTHPOLEHOOPS

Toronto, ON-An odd night in Newark, New Jersey saw the Raptors select Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas with the 5th overall pick in the draft.  This pick that was widely unpopular with fans as big name players like Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo and Jimmer Fredette were still available for the Raptors to choose.

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Canadian Tristan Thompson, #4 Overall Pick to Cleveland

With big names players dropping down in the draft order it was a HUGE night for Canadian basketball, as Tristan Thompson was surprisingly, but deservedly selected 4th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Cory Joseph was picked by San Antonio with the 28th pick.  This is monumental on many levels as Thompson is the highest Canadian ever picked in the NBA draft, while many thought Joseph was going to be a second round pick.  This was also the first time two Canadians have ever been drafted in the first round. NPH wishes our most heartfelt congratulations to both Thompson and Joseph, and hope for long and successful careers for these Canadian trailblazers. They are truly carving the path for those to come in the Great White North.

Kyrie Irving, as many thought, was the first overall pick in the draft, while Derrick Williams was expectedly taken second by the Timberwolves.  It really wasn’t until Utah drafted Enes Kanter third overall, that the drafting took an unexpected turn.

This was the entire first round of the 2011 NBA Draft:

1. Cleveland- Kyrie Irving

2. Minnesota- Derrick Williams

3. Utah-Enes Kanter

4. Cleveland-Tristan Thompson

5. Toronto- Jonas Valanciunas

6. Washington- Jan Vesely

7. Sacramento- Bismack Biyombo (traded to Charlotte)

8. Detroit-Brandon Knight

9. Charlotte- Kemba Walker

10.Milwaukee- Jimmer Fredette (traded to Sacramento)

11.Golden State- Klay Thompson

12.Utah- Alec Burks

13.Phoenix- Markieff Morris

14.Houston-Marcus Morris

15.Indiana Pacers- Kawhi Leonard (traded to San Antonio)JonasV.jpg

16.Philidelphia- Nikola Vucevic

17. New York- Iman Shumpert

18. Washington-Chris Singleton

19.Charlotte- Tobia Harris (traded to Milwaukee)

20.Minnesota- Donatas Motiejunas (traded to Houston)

21.Portland-Nolan Smith

22.Denver- Kenneth Farled

23.Houston-Nikola Mirotic (traded to Timberwolves)

24.Oklahoma City- Reggie Jackson

25.Boston- MarShon Brooks (traded to New Jersey)

26. Dallas- Jordan Hamilton (traded to Denver)

27.New Jersey- JaJuan Johnson (traded Boston)

28.Chicago- Norris Cole (traded to Miami)

29. San Antonio-Cory Joseph

30.Chicago- Jimmy Butler


Photo Courtesy: NBA.com, AFP photos

 

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