The Cleveland Cavaliers used the first overall pick in the NBA Draft to select 19-year-old Canadian small forward Andrew Wiggins, while the Milwaukee Bucks grabbed Duke University standout Jabari Parker at No. 2.
Most experts expected one of those two players or Cameroonian center Joel Embiid - who was Wiggins' teammate at the University of Kansas - to be the first player selected Thursday night at the Barclays Center in New York.
Wiggins said he was ready to win right off the bat and urged four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and Miami Heat superstar LeBron James, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, to return to the Cavaliers and compete for titles alongside him.
"I want to win," Wiggins said after being selected No. 1. "If he wants to win, we'd be good together."
James, a native of Akron, Ohio, located outside Cleveland, led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007 but left as a free agent for Miami in the summer of 2010 to join up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Heat have reached four consecutive NBA Finals and won two championships since James made his "Decision," although Miami was trounced in five games in this year's Finals by the San Antonio Spurs.
Embiid, who had surgery earlier this month on his broken foot, ended up going third to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Besides Wiggins and Embiid, several other foreign players were among the top draft picks, with Australian guard Dante Exum going fifth to the Utah Jazz, Canadian shooting guard Nik Stauskas taken by the Sacramento Kings at No. 8 and Croatian forward Dario Saric becoming the first European player selected.
Saric was chosen at No. 12 by the Orlando Magic but immediately traded to the 76ers in a deal that sent guard Elfrid Payton, who was selected at No. 10, to the Florida team. EFE