April 16, 2014

NBA Rumors: Would be a “shock” if Noel goes No. 1

With the NBA draft only a few days away, it’s looking more and more likely that the Cavs won’t be taking Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel. In his Sunday notes column, the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto says if the Cavs take a big man, it’ll be Maryland’s Alex Len and Pluto would be shocked if Noel was the pick.

 1. For weeks, I have been writing that the Cavs are looking hard at other players besides Nerlens Noel at No. 1, and nothing has changed on that front. Noel scares them because of the knee issues, along with concerns about his absolute lack of offense. Two knee surgeries in four years for a player who is only 18 should be a major warning siren. It would be a shock if they made him their No. 1 pick.

2. If the Cavs draft a big man, it will be Maryland center Alex Len. He’s 7-1, 255 pounds and looks and moves like an NBA center. He’s 21, but has a stress fracture in his foot. Maybe he’ll be fine, but big men with stress fractures in their feet are a worry. Cavs fans remember the ordeal of Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

3. At Maryland, Len led the Atlantic Coast Conference in blocks (2.2 per game), but only averaged 7.8 rebounds and 11.9 points as a sophomore. He had some big games against Kentucky (23 points, 12 rebounds vs. Noel) and North Carolina (20 points), but will he become more than just a decent NBA big guy? Noel fans can say their man averaged 10.5 points, and Len was at 11.9. Neither played for teams with strong guards. But most NBA teams believe Len has more potential to become a low-post scorer because of his size.

The News Herald’s Bob Finnan reports that Len was in Cleveland both Thursday and Friday and that the Cavs are considering him at No. 1.

Over the past couple weeks, Len, 21, has emerged as a candidate for the Cavs with that top pick. The Sheridan Hoops mock draft has the Cavs taking the Maryland center and Yahoo’s Alex Kennedy tweeted that both Z and new front office member Vitaly Potapenko are pushing for the young man from Ukraine.

The seems like that the combination of Noel’s injuries and his raw offense game have turned off the Cavs and it looks like Len’s ability to play both sides of the court is a big reason that he could go first.

[Related: Alex Len Film Room].

  • Harv 21

    Rumors are rumors, and Grant may be playing Pluto, but I think this is more likely than draft week spit-balling from national guys. Pluto is here and has shown that he has good sources with the Indians and Cavs. (Browns not so much, maybe b/c the FOs keep changing).

    If it’s Len I like Bullock or another dead-eye jump shooter at SF. Len is such a good passer it’s easy to imagine a solid half court offense where his own moves force defensive help, and then a pass to the dead-eye or a cutting Kyrie or Waiters. Shades of Daugherty/Price/Harper.

    Now, that defense …

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It makes more sense not to draft Noel then it does at least to me. I;m thinking Len is the choice.

  • saggy

    some real light shades…..

  • saggy

    so very surprising that Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Vitaly Potapenko are pulling for the Cavs to draft a hunk of big, white, Euro dude.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    How do you know both Zydrunas and Vitaly don’t listen to rap?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Stress fractures are a bigger problem then two unrelated knee injuries…especially when one of them (the ACL injury) isn’t the concern it used to be…and is typically nothing more than a freak accident. A growth plate injury in a guy who is a Freshman/Sophomore in high school (that is still growing) is also not that much of a concern long-term.

  • dwhit110

    I suppose it depends on what the doctors are telling Grant about the knee.

  • Gary

    Why dont they draft otto porter as a SF. Irving and waiters are a lock and porter would be perfect you have tristant thompson as a PF and Varzao and Zeller as centers

  • mgbode

    who wants to buy some DVDs?

  • mgbode

    in general.

    again, every injury is different and the only way to know is to have those medical reports and a doctor to decode them.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    I would be shocked if there were any problems moving forward with either of these injuries.

  • BenRM

    I really hope they don’t select Len.

    - So far as I’m aware, stress fractures have a greater impact on a player’s longevity than do ACLs.
    - He is 3 years older than Noel.
    - Honestly, I didn’t even think he was that good at Maryland. Simply bigger than others.
    - The Cavs lead the NBA in selecting white centers. How is that working out? (joke…kind of.)

    I don’t necessarily think Noel is the right choice either, but I do not like Len.

  • BenRM

    i laughed out loud.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    “Menace To Society”, “Boyz In Da Hood” what ya got, what ya got?