The Cleveland Cavaliers could be souring on the potential selection of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. A report from the Louisville Courier-Journal uncovered a fractured growth plate which was sustained during the potential top pick’s sophomore year in high school. Bob Finnan of the News-Herald reports, via a league source, that several teams are shying away from the risk involved in selecting the center. Finnan could not confirm that the Cavaliers are in fact one of them.
In a report last week, famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews stated that Noel was ahead of schedule in the rehabilitation from an ACL injury suffered this past February.
“We’re really happy with his progress,” Andrews told ESPN. “He’s several weeks ahead of schedule on his rehab. He’s improving on a weekly basis. He has a completely stable knee. The bone plugs are completely healed into the bone. His muscle and weight is returning. He has had no setbacks at all.”
Andrews added that any team which does select the shot-blocking big man would have to go slowly if they wanted him to get back to the level he was prior to the injury. It is believed that Noel will not be ready to play in an NBA contest until the holiday season, if at all. In his latest mock draft, FOX Sports Ohio’s Sam Amico also hinted that the Cavaliers are starting to pump the breaks on the 19-year-old who is largely considered to be the consensus first-overall selection.