Sources: Kyrie Irving is top rookie

Updated: May 14, 2012, 6:18 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will be named NBA Rookie of the Year on Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the voting results.

The Cavs sent out a release Monday saying they will make a "major announcement" along with the league on Tuesday morning at Cleveland Clinic Courts, the team's training facility in Independence. The team did not specify what will be announced.

After playing in just 11 games in his only season at Duke, Irving rewarded Cleveland's faith in selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by averaging 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 51 games.

Irving, who didn't even turn 20 until March 23, also shot the ball better as a rookie than many scouts projected, registering shooting percentages of .469 from the field and .399 from 3-point range. Irving's performance quickly established him as Cleveland's new franchise player in the Cavaliers' second season without LeBron James.

After the Cavs finished 21-45 in a lockout-shortened season, the 6-foot-3 Irving promised to raise his game in the years ahead.

"There is no limit for me," Irving said. "The only way I can go is up. That's the only way I want to go. This season was a learning experience. I learned what to do and what not to do. Going forward, I want to apply it next season and take it to another level."

The Cavaliers should be able to add some pieces to surround Irving in next month's draft. Cleveland has three of the top 34 picks and has a chance to win the draft lottery. Last year, the pingpong balls bounced in the Cavs' favor, allowing them to draft Irving, who played just 11 games in college at Duke because of a toe injury.

Irving, who cracked the starting lineup for the opener, made dazzling plays and clutch shots all season. His only setback was a shoulder injury that sidelined him for 10 games.

Rookie of the Year is the last major individual award that has yet to be officially announced by the league office. Miami's James collected his third career MVP trophy Sunday, joining Orlando's Ryan Anderson (Most Improved Player), New York's Tyson Chandler (Defensive Player of the Year), Oklahoma City's James Harden (Sixth Man Award) and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich (Coach of the Year) on the NBA's list of honorees for the 2011-12 season.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics