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Bargnani was the second international player taken No. 1, joining Yao Ming of China, who was taken by Houston in 2002.

Last year’s top international pick was Kevin Seraphin of France who was taken with 17th pick by the Chicago Bulls.

Kanter’s selection was greeted enthusiastically by his fellow Turks.

“The Utah Jazz’ selection of Enes Kanter extends the rich bilateral basketball relationship between the United States and Turkey,” Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States said in a statement. “Enes becomes the sixth Turk to currently play in the NBA, joining Hedo Turkoglu, Mehmet Okur, Semih Erden, Omer Asik and Ersan Ilyasova. As a country, Turkey is proud of its basketball roots and its growing ranks in the NBA.”

Kanter is excited about joining Okur on the Jazz.

“First of all he told me about the Utah Jazz and it’s a great city,” Kanter said. “It’s great and he has lots of fun there. And I’m so happy because I have family there. You know, we are both from Turkey and I believe when I go there he will help me a lot.”

Four international players _ ones who did not play at a U.S. college _ were taken in the first seven picks (Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania by Toronto, Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic by Washington, Bismack Biyombo of the Congo by Sacramento). Just two more were taken _ Donatas Motiejunas of Lithuania by Minnesota at No. 20 and Nikola Mirotic of Montenegro by Houston at 23 _ inthe rest of the first round.

The record for international players chosen in the first round is nine in 2003.


THIS CLOSE: Markieff and Marcus Morris have been as close as twin brothers can be. They have never been apart for more than a day or two at a time and the Philadelphia natives had standout careers at Kansas.

They stayed close one more time before separating to play professional basketball when Markieff was chosen with the 13th pick by the Phoenix Suns and Marcus was taken as the next selection by the Houston Rockets.

Marcus, who at 6-foot-8 is one inch shorter and who is younger by 7 minutes, took being second in stride.

“He was born before me so it’s nothing new,” Marcus said, adding “It’s just amazing how things play out. … It just plays out the way we wanted it to.”


DOUBLE DIP: For the fourth time since 2000, one team had two picks in the top 10.

Story Continues →