Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 12/13/11
Kyrie Irving is already popping eyes at Cavaliers practice sessions. And you would expect nothing less of the NBAs No. 1 overall draft pick. There are gonna be some oohs and aahs at (Quicken Loans Arena) this season, Cavs forward Samardo Samuels predicted of Irving. Samuels said it while wearing a large smile, adding he has been most impressed with how the rookie point guard out of Duke gets to where he wants to go every time and almost always finds the open man with quick, crisp passes. Coach (Byron Scott) told me, Just keep your hands ready, Samuels said. Scott offered his own praise. Kyrie, Scott said at the teams media day, has a chance to be a superstar. But as good as Irving is expected to be, he wasnt the only big name in the June draft. In fact, the Cavs had another top five pick in Tristan Thompson (Texas, fourth overall). He too has impressed early, displaying athleticism and energy at the power forward position. Heres a look at whats happening with several others who are entering their first season: Derrick Williams, Minnesota (Arizona, second pick) Early reports out of Minnesota say Williams looks more like a power forward than a small, as hes not quite yet ready to play out on the perimeter. Still, hes looked good near the basket and is likely to provide an immediate boost playing both behind and beside Kevin Love. Enes Kanter (Kentucky, third pick) and Alec Burks (Colorado, 12th), Utah Interestingly, Burks may have more of an opportunity to play right away, as he is coming off a full college season. Plus, the Jazz have more of a need at shooting guard than they do in the frontcourt, where the 6-foot-11 Kanter resides. Either way, both have been solid in the early going and expected to be immediate contributors. Maybe not stars, but contributors. That counts for a lot on a team that is actually not too bad already. Brandon Knight, Detroit (Kentucky, eighth pick) Knight was drafted with the idea that he can play both guard spots, and so far, that appears to be the case. How well or for how long remains to be seen. But if the Pistons got it right, hell start next to Rodney Stuckey and ahead of Ben Gordon. And if they really got it right, Knight will start ahead of Stuckey. Kemba Walker, Charlotte (Connecticut, ninth pick) Walker didnt really display one skill that stood out while leading UConn to a national title last season. But he did display guts and an ability to do just about everything well. That hasnt changed now that hes in the NBA, according to most reports. In fact, Bobcats coach Paul Silas even compared Walker to Nate Tiny Archibald in the Charlotte Observer. He knows how to either get to the hoop or get the step-back jumper, Silas said. "You play up on him, and he's going to go around you. If you stay off, he'll juke you. Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento (BYU, 10th pick) Jimmermania swept America last season, and it appears it was no fluke. While Fredette probably would have been a better fit on a veteran club (and one that actually believes in sharing the ball), hes received praise from teammates and fitting in well. So much that Kings coach Paul Westphal instituted a potent three-guard lineup of Fredette, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton at practice (next to J.J. Hickson and DeMarcus Cousins). Basically, this is a young, energetic bunch that should score a lot and be fun to watch. Thats right up Jimmers alley. Basketball reasons? Really? Former Suns GM Steve Kerr is not big on the NBA blocking trades, as it did in the failed Chris Paul-to-L.A. Lakers deal last week. There are so many trades made these days that are lousy trades made for financial purposes," Kerr told KNBR radio in Phoenix. I mean, I made one of the worst trades in NBA history. I traded Kurt Thomas and two first-round picks to Seattle for nothing, to save 16 million for our organization. Where was the NBA then to veto that trade for basketball reasons? That had nothing to do with basketball reasons. The league owns the New Orleans Hornets, the team for which Paul plays. It is reportedly still in negotiations with the L.A. Clippers for a deal involving Paul -- although Clips basketball man Neil Olshey said there was nothing on the table as of late Tuesday. Random Dribbles Bostons Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce joined the long list of players who have ripped commissioner David Stern since the lockout ended, and the Celtics Big Three came up with a reason all their own. Basically, they would like a little more time to get ready for the season. Were a rushed league right now, Garnett told Boston reporters. But I don't know why everyone's shocked, because Stern has been pretty adamant about when he wants to do things and how he does things. The Lakers are set to sign free-agent forward Josh McRoberts, according to the Ornage County Register. McRoberts should be a good fit after the team traded Lamar Odom to Dallas and may have lost Derek Character (knee injury) for the season. McRoberts provided 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and tons of hustle for Indiana last season. Two days ago, Dwight Howard demanded to be traded. Monday, he backed off that statement and said he could possibly be Orlandos center for a long time. Tuesday? He didnt talk to the media at all. And that may be the best news yet. Shooting guard Reggie Williams is an unrestricted free agent now that Golden State has rescinded its qualifying offer. The Warriors did so to make room for an offer to center DeAndre Jordan, who re-signed with the Clippers, anyway. (The Warriors then signed Kwame Brown.) Teams interested in Williams include Portland, Houston, Toronto and Charlotte. Follow Sam Amico on Twitter @SamAmicoFSO
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