Toronto native Anthony Bennett became the Cleveland Cavaliers surprising No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, Sports Illustrated reported, beating out the likes of Nerlens Noel and Alex Len for the top spot.
The 6-foot-7, UNLV power forward "drew huge cheers" from the Barclays Center audience in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times.
USA Today's Adi Joseph called the pick "a stunner" and wrote:
The draft's first stunner came ... on the draft's first pick. No one expected Bennett to go first. But he's a great fit for the Cavaliers, if he can get his weight down. Though Bennett is a power forward, he should fit well next to Tristan Thompson because they're both athletic and slightly undersized. Together they will rebound well. Bennett has as much upside as anyone in this class, though his weight and defense are concerns. Still, if he was going to be the target, the Cavaliers might have tried to trade down.
ESPN's Andy Katz and Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Terry Pluto weighed in on Twitter:
Cleveland's decision to take Bennett was simple per Cavs: "Best talent."— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) June 27, 2013
Cavs take Bennett, like that better than Noel or Len...While Porter was my choice, I'm OK with this as I wrote yesterday.— Terry Pluto (@terrypluto) June 27, 2013
"The big day is tmrw, hard to believe I put this in my schedule a couple months ago & it's here already," Bennett said in an Instagram post. "Time flies forreal."
Here's a few of Bennett's highlights from last season: