NEW YORK — Former Syracuse center Rakeem Christmas was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 36th pick of the NBA Draft and then shipped to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
In his senior season, Christmas averaged 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds, and was voted ACC Most Improved Player, Co-Defensive Player of the Year, First Team and All Defensive Team for his efforts.
“Being at Syracuse it’s a great program, a winning program and being around Coach (Jim) Boeheim taught me a lot and prepared me for this whole moment right here,” Christmas said.
Cleveland traded for Christmas, the No. 36 pick and Turkish player Cedi Osman, the No. 31 pick by sending the No. 24 pick, Tyus Jones, to the Timberwolves.
“That’s someone I look up to,” Christmas said about being teammates with Lebron James in Cleveland. “I worked out for them, so I wouldn’t know if that’s true or not. That would be a great experience for me, and they’re a great team, and I’d just be happy to be a part of that.”