Cavs Select Bennett and Karasev in NBA Draft

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND- The Cleveland Cavaliers surprised the basketball world on Thursday night in taking 20-year-old power forward Anthony Bennett of UNLV with the first pick in the NBA draft.

Anthony Bennett told the media he didn’t know he was being taken as the Cavs number one pick. Bennett said, “You know, I always had an idea to go number one but everything was up for grabs, up in the air nobody really had a solid number one pick so I’m just really happy and thankful.”

Bennett is a native of Toronto and finished his high school career playing for a prep school in Nevada.

He played one season in Sin City and averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. Bennett connected on 37.5 percent of his 3-point tries and shot 53 percent overall.

The Cavaliers were able to keep their intentions hidden from most national media and just about the entire NBA. Most expected them to take either Nerlens Noel of Kentucky or Alex Len of Maryland.

Cavs GM Chris Grant spoke late Thursday regarding the team’s decision to pick Bennett, “He is one of those guys that when you walked out of the gym when you saw him play you kind of went wow. He just does things that you don’t see other people do.”

Bennett is a strong re-bounder and shows a pretty polished offensive game. He comes, however with a physical issue. Rotator cuff surgery in May won’t allow him to return full time to the court until sometime in August.

Regarding his surgery Bennett said, “The first week of August I’ll be back 100 percent. Right now, I’ve been doing rehab, lifting weights, getting my strength back, the mobility back.”

Bennett becomes the first Canadian to be selected No. 1 overall.

The Cavs selected Sergey Karasev in the 19th overall pick, a 19-year-old from Russia.

The Cavs also selected Allen Crabbe from California and Carrick Felix from Arizona State as their 31st and 33rd picks. The Cavs traded Crabbe to Portland in exchange for another pick in the draft.

The Cavaliers selected fellow Canadian Tristan Thompson in 2011 at No. 4 overall. Canadian Andrew Wiggins is expected to be a top pick next June.