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Cavs pick Kansas' Wiggins at No. 1

Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - As Andrew Wiggins climbed the steps to the stage, the only thing that stood out more than his patterned tuxedo jacket with the thick black lapels was his situation.

The 6-foot-8 Kansas freshman from Toronto pulled on a Cleveland Cavaliers hat, hugged NBA commissioner Adam Silver and took his spot at the head of a draft class touted as one of the most talented in league history.

"This time last year, I just graduated from high school," said Wiggins. "This just came so fast to me."

The Cavaliers took Wiggins No. 1 overall on Thursday night, picking in that position for the second year in a row and the fourth time since opening the 2003 draft by taking LeBron James.

The selection began a run on freshman at the top, with Milwaukee taking Duke's Jabari Parker No. 2 and Philadelphia using the No. 3 pick on Joel Embiid just six days after the 7-foot Kansas center from Cameroon underwent surgery to fix a stress fracture in his right foot.

Embiid was the victim of an apparently ill-timed bit of television directing when ESPN showed him stone-faced and ostensibly disappointed as his name was announced by Silver.

Not at Barclays Center because of his injury, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year clarified things on Twitter. As did 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil, who said the problem was a timing delay.

"This is my real 'Just got drafted' face," Embiid tweeted along with a picture of him smiling. "Couldn't be happier to be a 76er!!!"

Wiggins and Parker were seen as the consensus Nos. 1 and 2 in some order by most observers after news of Embiid's injury broke last week.

Wiggins, 19, averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his only season for Kansas, helping the Jayhawks win the Big 12 regular-season championship.

Cleveland's No. 1 pick last year, Anthony Bennett, is also from Toronto.

"A thousand thoughts are going through my head right now. It's a dream come true," said Wiggins. "I've been dreaming of this moment since I was a little kid. ... It doesn't even feel real right now."

Parker, also 6-foot-8 and 19 years old, scored 19.1 points and grabbed 8.7 rebounds per game for Duke and said he thinks he can contribute right away for a young Bucks team.

"I feel like I'm going to be able to grow with that organization and I'm trying to be a throwback player, only stick with one team," said Parker.

Orlando picked Arizona's Aaron Gordon at No. 4 -- the fourth straight freshman selected at the top of the draft -- and Utah went with Australian guard Dante Exum at No. 5.

Exum, dubbed this year's "mystery man" after playing on the other side of the globe, finished high school in December, declared for the draft as an early entrant and became one of the more intriguing members of the class.

"Me and my agent thought that I wouldn't get down to five, but anything happens in the draft and I'm lucky enough that Utah believed in me," said the 6-foot-6 guard.

Rounding out the top 10 picks were Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart (Boston), Kentucky's Julius Randle (Lakers), Michigan's Nik Stauskas (Sacramento), Indiana's Noah Vonleh (Charlotte) and Louisiana-Lafayette's Elfrid Payton (Philadelphia).

The Sixers traded Payton's draft rights to Orlando in the first of a series of deals that unfolded throughout the night.

Philadelphia got No. 12 pick Dario Saric of Croatia -- who will spend the next two years overseas -- a second-round pick in 2015 and a future first-rounder originally acquired by the Magic from the Sixers in the Dwight Howard megadeal in 2012.

Denver traded the rights to Creighton star Doug McDermott, the 11th pick, to Chicago for the 16th and 19th selections this year.

Later, Charlotte picked Connecticut's Shabazz Napier 24th and reportedly dealt his rights to Miami for draft picks -- not too surprising considering the two- time national champion apparently has a fan in southern Florida.

James, who has opted out of his contract with the Heat, tweeted in April that he thought Napier was the best point guard available. After the pick, James was back at it, declaring Napier his favorite player in the draft, though it remains to be seen whether or not the four-time NBA MVP will return to Miami.

"I don't know if I'm bringing him back," Napier said. "I would love it. ... He's just a special thing. My agent just told me that he tweeted something out about me just now. It's just something special to know that one of the best players in the world thinks about you and appreciates your talent."

The New York Knicks made a splash in the second round by taking Cleanthony Early of Wichita State at No. 34 after acquiring the pick in the deal that sent Tyson Chandler back to Dallas.

06/26 23:25:56 ET

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