NEW YORK (AP) - Anthony Bennett became the first Canadian No. 1 overall pick, and Nerlens Noel tumbled out of the top five and right into a trade in a surprising start to an unsettled NBA draft.
One of the favorites to be taken first Thursday night, Noel fell to No. 6, where the New Orleans Pelicans took him and then dealt his rights to the Philadelphia 76ers for a package headlined by All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, according to a person familiar with the details.
The Cleveland Cavaliers started things by passing on centers Noel and Alex Len, who went to Phoenix at No. 5, in favor Bennett, the UNLV freshman forward who starred for Canada's junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, shakes hands with UNLV's Anthony Bennett, who was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA basketball draft Thursday.
"I'm just as surprised as anyone else," Bennett said.
There was suspense right until the end, either because the Cavs were unsure who they wanted or were trying to trade the pick. Most predictions had them taking one of the big men, with Noel largely considered the favorite for the No. 1 choice even after a torn ACL that ended his lone season at Kentucky in February.
"I thought everything was in the air, so I wasn't thinking I was the No. 1 pick," Noel said.
At ABC Times Square Studio ? New York
1. Cleveland: Anthony Bennett, Forward
2. Orlando: Victor Oladipo, Guard
3. Washington: Otto Porter, Forward
4. Charlotte: Cody Zeller, Center
5. Phoenix: Alex Len, Center
6. New Orleans: Nerlens Noel, Center
7. Sacramento: Ben McLemore, Guard
8. Detroit: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Guard
9. b-Minnesota: Trey Burke, Guard
10. Portland: C.J. McCollum, Guard
11. Philadelphia: Michael Carter-Williams, Guard
12. Oklahoma City: Steven Adams, Center
13. c-Dallas: Kelly Olynyk, Center
14. b-Utah: Shabazz Muhammad, Guard
15. Milwaukee: Giannis Adetokunbo, Forward
16. c-Boston: Lucas Nogueira, Center
17. Atlanta: Dennis Schroeder, Guard
18. Atlanta: Shane Larkin, Guard
19. Cleveland: Sergey Karasev, Forward
20. Chicago: Tony Snell, Forward
21. b-Utah: Gorgui Dieng, Center
22. Brooklyn: Mason Plumlee, Forward
23. Indiana: Solomon Hill, Forward
24. New York: Tim Hardaway, Jr., Guard
25. L.A. Clippers: Reggie Bullock, Guard
26. d-Minnesota: Andre Roberson, Forward
27. Denver: Rudy Gobert, Forward
28. San Antonio: Livio Jean-Charles, Forward
29. e-Oklahoma City: Archie Goodwin, Guard
30. Phoenix: Nemanja Nedovic, Guard
a-New Orleans and Philadelphia traded the rights to selected players.
b-Minnesota and Utah traded the rights to selected players.
c-Dallas and Boston traded the rights to selected players.
d-Traded to Golden State for a future second-round pick.
e-Traded the rights to Golden State for the rights to Andre Roberson, f, Colorado and a future second-round draft pick.
David Stern, booed heavily in his final draft as commissioner, added to the surprise of the moment by pausing slightly before announcing the Cavs' pick, their first at No. 1 since taking All-Star Kyrie Irving in 2011.
Orlando passed on both of the big men, too, going with Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo with the No. 2 pick. Washington took Otto Porter Jr. with the third pick, keeping the Georgetown star in town.
Ten years after the Cavaliers selected LeBron James to start a draft that included future NBA championship teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the top five, this one lacked star power and perhaps even the promise of stardom.
Bennett, Noel and Len are all coming off injuries and couldn't even work out for teams, but the Cavs decided Bennett's shoulder surgery wasn't enough cause for concern.
Len walked up to meet Stern and collect his orange Suns hat, then sat down near the stage to put on the walking boot he needs for the stress fracture of his left ankle that was discovered after Maryland's season.
Noel finally went to New Orleans with the next pick. He didn't seem upset at his fall down the draft board, hugging his mother and shaking hands with Kentucky coach John Calipari.
It was a good start to the night for the Hoosiers, with Cody Zeller going to the Charlotte Bobcats two places after Oladipo.
Kansas guard Ben McLemore, another player who was considered a potential top-three pick, also dropped, going seventh to Sacramento.
Headed by a lackluster class, the draft promised confusion and second-guessing, with no consensus No. 1 pick and little agreement among the order of the top five.
And with lesser-known names in the draft, veterans soaked up the spotlight in the hours leading up to it.
Hosting the draft at Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets made the biggest news. A person with knowledge of the talks confirmed a Yahoo Sports report that the Nets and Celtics were working on a trade that would bring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.
ESPN reported earlier Thursday that Dwight Howard was unlikely to return to the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next month.
The guys coming into the league were glad for the attention they did finally get once their names were called.
"It's like a weight vest you took off after running five miles," Oladipo said. "It's relaxing, man. But at the same time, you know it's just getting started."
National player of the year Trey Burke of Michigan also was traded, the Minnesota Timberwolves sending his rights to Utah for the rights to Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, the Nos. 14 and 21 picks.
Lehigh's C.J. McCollum rounded out the top 10 by going to Portland.
Stern, retiring in February, seemed to play up the boos, which turned to cheers after every pick, fans perhaps as puzzled as some of the players at the names they were hearing.
"I was just kidding my agent because he didn't bail me out," Zeller said. "He didn't tell me. I didn't know until David Stern announced it. It's a crazy process not knowing, but I'm definitely excited that I ended up with the Bobcats."
Other players couldn't get too excited about their new addresses, because they changed quickly.
Stern was announcing deals by the middle of the first round and they promised to keep coming after he called it a night and turned things over to Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver for the final 30 picks.