July 30, 2014

NBA News: Draft hopeful Alex Len out 4-to-6 months with stress fracture

Former Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len will miss 4-to-6 months with a stress fracture in his left ankle.

Len, a 19-year-old center who has drawn comparisons to former Cavalier Zydrunas Ilgauskas, was thought to be a high lottery selection prior to this news. Recent runs of ESPN’s Draft Predictor had Len landing in Cleveland if the team were selecting in the four-to-six range. Len, however, must now go into the June draft without the benefit of any pre-draft workouts.

One of the better centers in the upcoming draft, Len comes equipped with the ability to rebound and block shots while hitting the mid-range jump shot on the offensive end—perfect for pick-and-pop situations that Mike Brown ran very frequently during his last tenure with the Cavaliers. The seven-footer will likely still go high in the draft, but he now comes with some considerable risk.

In a recent piece for ESPN, Fran Franschilla stated that he would select Len over Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, who is widely considered to be the top pick in the June draft. Len averaged 12 points in his 26 minutes on the floor, but was the victim of an offense that did not incorporate his skill set. In 16 of his last 19 games as a Terrapin, Len took fewer than 10 shots, averaging only 7.4 per contest.

“The tough part is the timing,” Len’s agent Mike Lelchitski said via press release.

[Related: The Diff: Regression to the mean and the Cavaliers]

  • B-rye

    I guess Len-sanity will be put on hold a while.

  • mgbode

    I think we may finally be reaching the point where athletes are just getting too finely tuned. It’s fun having that Ferrari but you have to be able to take it out once in awhile without it breaking down.

    PG’s have had a crazy rash of injuries, but so have Centers. Dwight, Bynum, Oden, Bogut, Horford, Noah, Andy, etc. with significant recent injuries and then add the top2 center prospects in this draft (Noel and Len).

  • tom

    This works out well for the Cavs as he might slide down to #19.

  • boomhauertjs

    Stay away Grant, stay very far away…

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Wait a sec… foot problems, face-up jumper out to 18 feet, solid rebounder with some skill around the basket, super-tall eastern Euro… where was Z about 9 months prior to June 16, 1993?

  • Chucky Brown

    package the 19 and some 2′s to get him 10-15

  • Harv 21

    was thinking along similar lines: If he’s still around at 12-13, Grant throws the two second rounders with our #19 to scoot up a few slots. Everyone knows the Cavs have to move some of those picks because they can’t bring in 4 rookies.

  • Harv 21

    Trading small skin scrapings for snack money with a rather strange, monacled Lithuanian physician who kept hanging around practices of the Atletas Basketball Club until the coaches chased him out..

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.perkis.566 Tony Perkis

    Fran is nuts for saying Len is better than Noel

  • typo

    I personally hope they draft Otto Porter, sign Dwight (I know) and trade Waiters and Thompson for the best 3 and D guy available. We could compete for a title next season.

  • mgbode

    perhaps he likes centers who can play offense as well.

  • Robbie S

    How many back-up Centers do we really need on the roster though? I would love to see us bring in Otto Porter and a backup shooting guard, who gets buckets.

  • woofersus

    It’s unlikely Speights will be back, and Andy is always hurt, so it makes sense to take another big in the draft. I do think SF is a higher priority at the moment and Porter is my favored choice. Wayne Ellington will probably be the backup SG.

  • woofersus

    So what’s more of a risk, a big man with a stress fracture in his foot. (as if that won’t happen again) or a big man who is only a few months removed from his knee bending sideways and shredding ligaments? I still favor taking Porter if he’s available, but if this injury pushes Len down far enough, maybe we can have him too. (I don’t see Noel falling like that, so I won’t even suggest it)

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.perkis.566 Tony Perkis

    Noel avg 1.5 pts a game less than len. Add to the fact that Noel also lead his team in steals, blocks, and rebounds a game shows he is better all around player than Len.

  • zonk

    Otto Porter = poor man’s Jeff Green = no thank you.

    IMO, Shabazz Muhammad (yes the underachieving guy from UCLA) will be a better pro than Otto. Best case scenario for the Cavs is Noel at 1 or 2, and then trading 19-31-33 to get in the 10-13 range to grab Muhammad.