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Irving’s not without flaws, however. The major knock on the 19-year-old is that he only played 11 games for the Blue Devils because of a toe injury and there are some who wonder if he needs more grooming.

If the Cavs do take him first, Irving will be the third point guard in four years to go No. 1, joining Wall, who went to Washington last year and Rose, picked by Chicago in 2008.

He’s a safe, if not sure, pick.

“He’s a terrific young point guard, and he’s a true point guard,” ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, a fellow Dookie, said in a conference call. “I do liken him to Chris Paul. But he’s not quite as good as Paul. But if you had taken Chris Paul out his freshman year, you might say the same thing. Iving, what he lacks, that a Wall or a Rose or guys like that have, he’s not as explosive an athlete. He’s not in that class athletically.”

Williams, on the other hand, has off-the-charts athleticism. The 6-foot-8 forward wowed the Cavs during his individual workout last week, when he did all he could to convince them that he can play small forward and not power forward, the position most league insiders believe he’s best suited for.

Williams‘ visit on Monday was somewhat of a surprise. It’s not clear if the team asked him back or if he requested a second look, which is not uncommon for players slotted to go in the top 10. He averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, but wasn’t considered a lottery pick until he scored 32 in Arizona’s NCAA tournament win over Duke.

The Cavs have toyed with moving up to No. 2, so they could land both Irving and Williams _ a two-handed slam dunk in this class. But that seems unlikely unless they can strike a deal with Minnesota, which has entertained offers but seems reluctant to give up the highest pick in franchise history.

If Cleveland does pick Williams, Irving won’t fall far.

“We’ll take him,” said Timberwolves president David Kahn. “He’s not moving past two.”

Williams campaigned to be No. 1, but now seems resigned to the Cavs choosing Irving.

“I wouldn’t doubt it,” he said last week. “He’s great.”


AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis contributed to this report.