Cavaliers take Irving with No. 1 pick in NBA draft

By BRIAN MAHONEY | June 23, 2011 | 7:44 PM EDT

NBA draft prospects Kemba Walker, of Connecticut, center left, and Kyrie Irving, of Duke, shake hands as they stand on a stage with other prospects before the NBA basketball draft Thursday, June, 23, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers have selected Kyrie Irving with the No. 1 pick, making the Duke point guard their first of two choices in the top four of the NBA draft.

Despite playing 11 games in his only college season because of a toe injury on his right foot, Irving was too good to pass up Thursday night with the Cavaliers' first No. 1 pick since taking LeBron James in 2003.

The draft gives them a chance to quickly rebuild less than a year after James left for Miami, as they also own the No. 4 selection.

Only a few miles from where he grew up, Irving received loud cheers after the pick was announced. He has said he has no health concerns, making him the likely best choice in what's been called a weak draft.