Perth Wildcats star Luke Travers’ NBA dream has come true with the 20-year-old from Rockingham selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers at pick 56 in Friday’s draft.
Travers went from an outsider among NBA circles to being chosen by a team after an impressive season with the Wildcats.
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He had already shown maturity beyond his years by being thrown into the starting five while still a Development Player in 2021. But he rose to another level last season, playing in multiple positions, improving his three-point shooting, showing off his athleticism at the rim and also impressive as a point-guard.
Travers moved to the United States at the end of the NBL season and spent seven weeks touring the country to meet teams. He trained in front of eight teams and was also invited to the G-League Elite Camp.
Travers watched the draft from Los Angeles and had to wait for four-and-a-half hours but is now an NBA player.
Rockingham Flames coach Ryan Petrik said it was an amazing day for WA basketball.
“It’s a huge day for the state and the club,” Petrik said.
“It’s amazing for anyone to make it from domestic juniors at a state league club all the way to the pros. There’s a lot of people who have been involved in that and a lot of god kids who have played.
“I remember talking to NBA scouts about him years ago. He was that young and athletic and long. We knew that one he put on size, people wouldn’t be able to stop him. Men at state league level couldn’t stop him at 17 so we knew what would happen once he filled out.”
New Orleans Pelicans selected Travers’ American housemate, Australian Dyson Daniels, at pick eight. He played for G-League Ignite and his defensive work and playmaking quickly turned him into a top-10 pick.
Daniels grew up in Bendigo, in country Victoria. He followed in the footsteps of another Victorian, Josh Giddey, who was a top-10 draft pick last season.
The New York Knicks chose Frenchman Ousmane Dieng at pick 11 after his strong NBL season for the New Zealand Breakers.
But the Knicks immediately traded Dieng to Oklahoma City Thunder where he will play alongside Giddey.
Another Breaker, Hugo Besson, was the final player selected. He will play for the Indiana Pacers.
More to come