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June 18, 2013

Alex Len in Charlotte compares himself to Zydrunas Ilgauskas

GgO7v.St.138So here’s Maryland center Alex Len’s sales pitch to be a top pick in the June 27 NBA draft:

“I’m 7-1 or 7-2 (in sneakers). I’m pretty agile. And I can step out and shoot, which makes me different from other (big) guys.’’

Then Len, who’s from the Ukraine, noted how often he’s compared to Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Cleveland Cavaliers center who played in the NBA from 1997 through 2011.

Ilgauskas, also an Eastern European, is a good analogy: A guy with true-center size who could shoot well enough to place defenders in predicaments. Ilgauskas scored nearly 11,000 career points.

But there’s a way the Ilgauskas-Len comparison works against Len.

Ilgauskas had chronic foot problems over most of his pro career. Len is in a walking boot, after having surgery in April to stabilize a partial stress fracture in his left ankle.

Noted Charlotte foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson did that surgery. Len’s rehab schedule suggests he’ll be cleared to start running in August and be fully recovered by the time training camp starts in October.

So he’ll miss summer league, which rookies need, but he won’t be alone in that regard. Two other candidates for the Bobcats’ No. 4 pick – Kentucky center Nerlens Noel (torn ACL) and Nevada-Las Vegas forward Anthony Bennett (rotator-cuff surgery) – are also unable to work out for teams leading up to the draft.

Len, a gymnast in his youth (he did it because he likes Jackie Chan movies), started playing basketball at the relatively late age of 13. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks as a Maryland sophomore before turning pro.

He clearly got some strong coaching overseas – the kind of varied skills you seldom see from American big men these days.

 “It’s that European style where big men can do whatever they want to,’’ Len described. “It just makes me a little different.’’

Translation: The European basketball philosophy is not to segregate “guard drills’’ from “big-man drills.’’ Everyone is expected to learn how to dribble and shoot.

Len says his skill set will likely fit better in the NBA than it did in college basketball. As he noted, the spacing is better in the pros, so it’s harder to constantly double-team the center.

Certainly the Bobcats could use an inside scoring presence. They’re never going to get that from Bismack Biyombo. Last season shooting guard Gerald Henderson was the Bobcats’ best post-up threat.

Asked how he’d feel about playing for the Bobcats, Len was effusive about one thing:

“I would love to play with Kemba’’ Walker.

The Bobcats hold their first pre-draft workouts Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Look for Indiana big man Cody Zeller, younger brother of former North Carolina center Tyler, to be among the participants.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 18, 2013 at 11:07 AM | Permalink


perfect comparison. big Z was a long time nba starter on several lebron led playoff teams and even several competitive teams otherwise.

but he was drafted 20th overall which is way more appropriate for len. 10th in a weak draft class as this one is claimed to be.

not 4th.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 11:23:58 AM

The guy is going to be a solid NBA center for years. Welcome to Charlotte Alex!

Posted by: Tabletop | Jun 18, 2013 11:32:16 AM

I surely hope this team pick Alex Len and quit messing around with these other candidates. Here is a man that wants the opportunity to play wit Kemba Walker. He could hit the ground running faster than any other 2013 Draftee.

Posted by: Shedrick | Jun 18, 2013 11:32:20 AM

I can definitely see Walker & Len executing the pick & roll to perfection. Len CAN shoot. Also, he didn't just give Noel the business, Plumlee got it too! I'm not saying its a no brainer pick because I don't see him as a dominant center. However, he is a piece to the puzzle. Along with Kemba, Biyombo and hopefully Henderson, Charlotte will go into the 2014 draft with a strong core to build around.

Posted by: Nat Turner | Jun 18, 2013 11:45:18 AM

Not really sold on Len, but then again not sold on anyone in this draft. I'd prefer they trade down and pick up something else or trade the pick altogether for a established player, but i guess the plan is suck again next year and shoot for the stars in the 2014 draft. With that being said just dont draft Oladipo and i would be happy, no way he, MKG and Biz should play together absolutely no offensive punch at all.

Posted by: T | Jun 18, 2013 11:57:19 AM

Should have traded down in last year's draft. MKG can't shoot and was so overrated. Bobcats have to stop drafting guys who can't score like Noel and Oladipo. Need to replace MKG and Biz.

Posted by: Jon | Jun 18, 2013 12:24:39 PM

Shedrick. Hit the ground running faster than any other 2013 Draftee? He is in a walking boot. I'm not against the pick but he will be a work in progress. Basically a beefed up version of Byron Mullens with more ball skills.

Posted by: JimBob | Jun 18, 2013 12:34:13 PM

Yeah I either hope Noels falls and we get him at 4th or AB also has some boom or bust potential and in this draft why not.
Also AB will be 1st one back playing with his injury and it shouldnt effect him long term. Others that is hit or miss.

Posted by: Season Ticket holder for now | Jun 18, 2013 12:41:43 PM

Regardless of the pick, the odds are the 3 Stooges aka Jordan/Higgins/Cho will mess it up yet again. Sad but true. This franchise is going nowhere fast so let's be patient and let them keep messing up until new ownership and/or management arrives.

To all the 'trade down' guys, I hear ya and I'd like that to but easier said than done. Supply and demand...many more teams willing to trade down than up.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 18, 2013 12:43:06 PM

The achilles heel of the Horncats is post play. Quality bigs are hard to come by. Draft the best combination of size, scoring, and defense and turn Patrick Ewing loose on him.

Posted by: Airbrush87 | Jun 18, 2013 12:47:08 PM

Steve, I dont want new ownership... I dont have a problem with MJ or Cho, Higgins should have been let go he is a virus infecting this franchise. I dont have alot of confidence in this draft though, the only person i would've been upset with last year was MKG and thats exactly who we took. Missed out on Davis but i could see both Beal and Barnes were better than this kid. We just need to hit a homerun and stop drafting players that need sooo much work like Biz & MKG, give me a player that can contribute now.

Posted by: T | Jun 18, 2013 1:07:11 PM

We have been avoiding the #5 spot for years now...time to draft a true center so we don't have to worry about that position anymore. Next year's draft will have scorers and good PF's. Len outplayed Noel and Plumlee and reminds me of a Brook Lopez type of big. Lets get him now and resign McRoberts at the 4 with Biyombo backing up the 4 and 5. Resign Hendo and Pargo and if for the right price Mullens. With Ewing on board he would do wonders with Len, Biyombo, McRoberts and Mullens. I mean imagine rotating those 4 in throughout the game. We would wear down the other teams bigs. Let Kemba, Hendo, and Sessions be the shooters. And if possible try and land Seth Curry.

Posted by: bb1130 | Jun 18, 2013 1:22:49 PM

Need should trump BPA this time. If Len is there get him. He may not make it to 4 if Cleveland thinks they've got another "Z". Kemba and Len together would be a potent combo for years to come.

Posted by: Ripp | Jun 18, 2013 2:08:16 PM

Can the Hornets or Bobcats, or whoever they are actually screw up another draft? It seems to be an annual event here in Charlotte. If available, just take Len and move on. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH NOEL! This kid is beyond raw. I am tired of hearing about potential. The fans have looked at the same potential card for years now. The only other guy to even consider at 4 is Bennett, otherwise trade the pick for someone who can PRODUCE SOMETHING POSITIVE NOW!

Posted by: TD | Jun 18, 2013 2:35:44 PM

The Horncats don't need a 7 2 jump shooter with bad feet. Especially not with the 4th pick.

Posted by: mygrandsonrusty | Jun 18, 2013 2:47:14 PM

I would be OK with Bennett, Zeller or Len, at #4 (in that order). But my first choice is to trade down with Atlanta for picks #17 and #18. Then we could grab Plumlee, Dieng or Adams at #17; and Hardaway, Rice or Bullock at #18.

Posted by: Dom | Jun 18, 2013 2:56:23 PM

And BTW - watch the NBA Finals tonight... You will see both teams playing "Small Ball" which for the Spurs means starting Parker (6'2"), Manu (6'6"), Leonard (6'7"), Green (6'6") - and Duncan (7')

And for Miami they have James at 6'8" at Power Forward along with 6'10" Bosh at Center.

So don't think Bennett can't play PF in the league - although i would plan for him to replace MKG who i would be trading real soon...

Posted by: Dom | Jun 18, 2013 3:02:12 PM

The only reason I might not draft Bennett is if we could get Wiggins or Parker next year. If that is a real possibility - which it likley is - then I would trade down or take Zeller at #4.

Posted by: Dom | Jun 18, 2013 3:10:18 PM

I like the idea of taking Len if he's there. He more than held his own against Plumlee and Noel. Zeller is another kid I would look at, but not really at the #4. Is taking Len any biggger gamble than taking MKG at #2 last year? Not even close. It is past time for this club to establish a new identity and I'm not talking about the name change. We need to find a way to go from joke, to juggernaut. Len should be a good start.

Posted by: J. Mixon | Jun 18, 2013 3:14:59 PM

I agree we need to go for size this year. If Noel slips to 4, grab him. If not, then take Len.

Posted by: apauldds | Jun 18, 2013 3:22:50 PM

Noel seems like the next Oden to me - except Oden was healthy on draft day. Plus Noel can't shoot! That guy is so overrated - think about it - is he really any better than Biz? One inch taller - and that is about it....

Posted by: Dom | Jun 18, 2013 3:30:59 PM

did any of you actually watch MKG play last year?! as the youngest player in the league he had a couple 25 and 12 games and showed ridiculous poise for a 19 year old.

AND he showed his shot progressing at the end of the year. You're talking about an absolutely elite prospect. a guy that cleveland would gladly give the #1 pick for this year.

and biz LIKE ALL BIG men will take time. roy hibbert is 26 or 27 or something and just came into his own last year. biz is not quite 21. He's less than a year older than len.

len did what he did against a SMALL acc last year. it was NOT impressive at all. 12 and 8 against small guys. awesome. great job. he's ilgauskas. perfect comparison. not worth the 4th pick in the draft, ever.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 3:45:53 PM

anthony bennett should be the pick best an most talented front court player hands down!!

Posted by: jayrock | Jun 18, 2013 4:02:17 PM

Love these boards! Guys, no one in this draft is going to help much. Just more bit parts, an entire team of 6th or 7th men. You don't win in today's NBA without multiple stars, and this draft has none. And guess what? They don't want to sign here either.

As for management, as long as MJ and FoMJ (friends of MJ) are in control, we're going nowhere. He's not a good owner, not a good executive, and he hires people just like himself. Cho has a good reputation, but if you think for a second that MJ isn't still pulling strings (horribly, I might add) then you're fooling yourself.

MJ and Higgins have a history...a history of being terrible at this job. Look it up. That's not opinion, it's fact.

Sad to say, until ownership changes (or Charlotte suddenly becomes 'cool' to NBA players), the HornCats will just be another space filler on an NBA schedule.

Posted by: BobsRealist | Jun 18, 2013 4:37:50 PM

Nerlens Noel: BUST
Gorgui Dieng: Backup...at BEST
Kelly Olynyk: Scrub
Anthony Bennett : Too short to play PF and we already have too many SF's on the team...move on. He's NOT LJ.
Cody Zeller : Rotation Big Man
Mason Plumlee : Backup...at BEST
Ben McLemore : Starting SG
Victor Oladipo : Starting SG
Alex Len : Starting Center

At number 4, you only have 3 choices...IF you want an immediate starter in Charlotte.

Posted by: Bob goes Horny | Jun 18, 2013 4:55:31 PM

This draft is truly filled with underwhelming choices. I disagree with those talking about trading MKG. He is a good defender and can develop into a good slasher.

The Horncats need someone capable of shooting. Be it a big with mid range (Len) or a shooter (McLemore), that skill opens lanes for Kemba, Ramon, Hendo and MKG. Len's size alone should help with rebounding. And he would be a good pick- and-pop partner with Kemba.

I don't know Bennett's game but if he is truly as versatile as others say, then too would be an asset. This draft is about finding a puzzle piece that fits what Coach Clifford wants to do. THERE ARE NO STARS IN THIS DRAFT!

Posted by: nctigerman | Jun 18, 2013 5:10:17 PM

jordan is a great owner for charlotte by default. if it weren't for him, the bobcats would be in st. louis already.

and they haven't made any of the higginsy bone head trades since cho has taken over so there has to be faith in that addition even if it's merely for educational purposes.

dom - who the eff would base THIS YEAR's draft pick on NEXT YEAR's draft? that makes absolutely no sense. in a year's time you might trade away the picks for an elite player, the prospects projected at the top of next year's draft might get injured or struggle in college as many prospects have done in the past. and worst of all, we might be picking 5th in a 4 man draft next year or something to that effect. you can't draft today based on hypothetical tomorrows.

Noel is nowhere near as raw offensively as biyombo. He's way more amare/shawn kemp than biyombo is. And even biyombo is going to be solid given the time it takes to develop bigs. if you ask me len or biyombo, i'm going biyombo no question. biz would be a top 5 pick in this draft.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 5:25:55 PM

I think Nerlens Noel is going to be a bust. He can block shots, but that is it. He is so skinny and he didn't do to well when he had to play someone bigger and stronger. He looks like a one trick pony.

Posted by: Jon | Jun 18, 2013 5:29:50 PM

A player's potential is a lot more than what a stats line can show.
Or else, look at MKG's offensive stats at Kentucky: 11.9 ppg, 49% field goal shooting, 25.5% for 3 points. Quite lowly, yet he was picked 2nd overall; this line is far from telling everything about his potential, and that potential is not rebounding only (which was his only really good number in college).

Alex Len is a versatile center, who improved a lot from his freshman to his sophomore year, and has still plenty of upside. He has mobility, great size and wing span, he can score both in the low post and from outside, he can defend very well in the paint but can also move out for good perimeter defense (against bigs, evidently), and he rebounds well. Again, his development is far from completed.

Back to stats, you can compare him with other centers. Joakim Noah came out of college with a stats line very close to Len's: 12 ppg, 8.4 rpg, and that was after Noah's 3rd year in college (one more year to work on his game, under an excellent coach)! He was picked 9th overall only. Then, he became an All-Star and a very important piece in the Bulls' roster.

Roy Hibbert stayed 4 years in college, and he improved little by little each year. To compare with Len, you have to look at Hibbert's sophomore year: 11.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg - that's less than Len. More than anything else, people had doubts about him before the Draft, he was regularly called a "stiff", and he was picked barely 17th overall. Then, he became an All-Star, and a very important player for the Pacers.

So, mediocre stats are not necessarily a predictor of poor performance in the NBA, and again, they are far from telling the whole story about a player.

- - -

To all I said about Len, it's very important to add: IF healthy.
IF not for that broken ankle, Len had to be taken 4th overall.
But an ankle fracture is a very serious issue for a 255 pounds center - that's a lot of pressure on his ankles at every step and leap.
I give in a previous post Andrew Bogut's example. Here it is, again: Len suffered the same kind of injury as Andrew Bogut did in January 2012. It's June 2013, and Bogut still suffers the consequences of that injury. He missed most of the last two seasons because of his bad ankle, and when he played, he was well below his ability.

Because of the seriousness of that injury, I certainly wouldn't want to risk using the 4th pick on him. If the Bobcats decide to trade down several spots, and they still find him there, then (and only then) yes.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 18, 2013 5:30:13 PM

^^^ the biggest things to point out in my mind are that noah and hibbert stayed longer in college and that they were drafted much later than 4th.

the mediocre stat line that MKG had was as one of the youngest freshmen in college basketball. had he played as a sophomore....probably more like 18, 11, 5, 3 type numbers. that's the problem with len's stats......they are sophomore numbers. noel did the same thing as a freshmen.

len didn't play against many nba caliber bigs. noel might be the only one and that came in his first collegiate game (nationally televised too). For him to only put up 12 and 8 against NO competition and without his team having any stars that hypothetically took his shine.......it just doesn't add up. mid 1st round pick, not a top 5 pick.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 6:01:06 PM

Charlottean, Len will be a starter for Charlotte. Who gives a flying eFF where he is drafted? Yeah, Adam Morrison sure panned out. Nerlens Noel will BE A BUST...please write it down. This Charlotte team finally has a chance to land a legit 7'1" Center with skills. Len fills a nee and has already been projected in the top 10. Charlotte does NOT need another BUST. Quit reaching and gambling when you have nothing to gamble with. This team is awful and needs solid picks. No more Power Forwards; No More Small Forwards. Biyombo can develop the same as Noel.
I GUARANTEE you were the same dude that wanted to draft Thomas Robinson of Kansas...and I told you he was a waste.

Posted by: Bob goes Horny | Jun 18, 2013 6:07:52 PM

adam morrison had a freak injury in preseason of his second season. when are charlotte fans going to remember how that went properly? then we hired a coach (larry brown) who hated him. what does that have to do with anything? that guy absolutely dominated summer league last year and couldn't get a shot because his moment passed (age). len won't dominate summer league. he won't dominate the d-league. you know why? because he didn't dominate the ACC when he was by far the biggest dude in the conference. biyombo would have dominated playing against dudes like james mcadoo and plumlee. and seriously whoever keeps talking about trading down and drafting plumlee GO AWAY that dude is probably not even a rotation player in the nba.

len would be a starter. but not an upper echelon one. there are 30 starting jobs for centers. he'd be one of them. but he won't be a top 3 player on a contender and that's the kind of guy you expect with a top 4 pick. zeller is wayyyyyyyyy better.

why would you take a guy at 4 that's worth a 10 or 15 pick? or 20 for that matter. he's not as good as noah or lopez or hibbert and they all went lower. he compares himself to ilgauskas who went lower. who is he not compared to? mourning, ewing, mutombo, shaq, olajuwon, walton, or even bogut (outside of the injury references).

and no i wasn't the guy who wanted robinson. I wanted barnes. I want robinson NOW that he's available. robinson isn't a bust either. he got effed by getting drafted to sacramento who didn't want/need him. then he got dumped on houston in a different deal late in the year and now they're realizing they need to move him to clear cap space to try and land howard. has nothing to do with robinson's talent level.

but I was the one talking about barnes being the guy and everybody talked about how much of a bust he was going to be comparing the dude to marvin williams and ish like they've never seen either play basketball.

NEVER has a big man with the resume than len has left college early and been successful. it has NEVER happened. so you're saying noel is the one that's risky of being a bust? plenty of guys get hurt in college and go on to be great, plenty go on to get hurt again. that's part of sports. plenty never get hurt before the draft and then get hurt plenty in the pros (see amare, see grant hill, see antonio mcdyess, see joe smith, etc.)

noel is the only guy with super star ceiling in this draft. mclemore is the only other guy with all star ceiling and oladipo/zeller/porter/bennett are in the bunch after him.

len is somewhere after that. cleveland is posturing like they're going to take him #1 to try and get someone to buy into the hype. not only was he average before the injury.....he's coming off a stress fracture. i bet several of the people posting on this thread work for his agency and several others are maryland alumn or work for turgeon (high draft picks make recruiting easier).

they aren't taking len unless they trade down. hopefully noel falls to 4, if not, that means either mclemore or oladipo or maaaaaybe bennett.

there are better centers sitting on other teams benches than len.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 7:44:51 PM

LOL. There goes Charlottean again, making excuses for MKG and Bizschmacks LOL.

The ONLY good thing about this franchise is the name change to HORNETS in 2014!

Len will be an always hurt center with little impact.

TRY TO TRADE FOR COUSINS!! SEND BIZ, GORDON, THE 4TH PICK, WHATEVER. Len will NEVER be better then Cousins, I would throw the sink at Sacramento.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 18, 2013 7:50:33 PM

I find it comical when people refer it as a bad draft. There are very few bad drafts. There are good players in every one. They may just not be as obvious as people would like. Last year was a one player draft. Not really. Lilliard and Drummond look like stars among others. MKG has plenty of potential. The Bobnets will get a very good player.

Posted by: Bobnet | Jun 18, 2013 9:05:05 PM

there are very few bad drafts, but they do exist. this is NOT a bad draft. it just lacks top end talent. this draft is insanely deep with starter to rotation caliber players. but where most drafts produce 5 or so stars. this one will be lucky to get 2 and it's a crap shoot who they are. there are usually 2 clear cut stars and several maybes at the top but the maybes aren't feast or famine it's usually super star or upper echelon starter.

and D.W.G. i'm not making any excuses for MKG, i'm stating the facts. dude was the youngest guy in the league and posterized a ton of people and had several HUGE games, improved his mid range jump shooting, and played WELL beyond his years mentally. dude is going to be a star. he's going to be a better version of rudy gay. watch what he does this year.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 18, 2013 9:12:29 PM


We probably agree on not using the 4th pick on Len and on taking him with a lower pick (not long ago, that was 7th overall in your posts), if the Cats trade down - though, it's for quite different reasons.
You underestimate his potential. The way you think about him is exactly what I thought of him months ago. Then, I started to pay closer attention to his skills and physical data, and I found very good reasons to change my point of view on him. You also wildly overestimate very athletic, yet untalented players, like Noel and Biyombo. Enough said on this.

This is what I'm reacting to now: "the biggest things to point out in my mind are that noah and hibbert stayed longer in college and that they were drafted much later than 4th." SO WHAT?
Noah came out with one year in college more than Len, with similar stats. In what way is coming out one year earlier a factor, preventing Len to continue improving as a pro?
Hibbert finished his four years of eligibility. To compare what is comparable, I showed his stats after his sophomore year were lesser than Len's. Again, same question: so what if Len came out earlier? Also, what's the importance of being drafted relatively low (which I noted), compared to what they achieved in the NBA ? Evidently, the emphasis should be on the achievements.

Then, when you had to face MKG as an example of coming out early with quite unimprssive stats, you started making weird excuses for him, forgetting your own point, which was to refer to mediocre stats when leaving college, WITHOUT any other reinterpretations, as a bad predictor for future success. Hey, it's not me who would deny MKG's potential (though, "better version of Rudy Gay" is way over the top); it's you who denies Len consistently, always without any minimal adequate analysis (and you spent at least a dozen of posts on doing this by now).

My point here was to expose your pretzel logic: twisted and full of big holes. It's annoying, simply because it's the result of extreme stubborness, as in: "I'll say no matter what, I'll throw in anyone's face the most twisted arguments, all so that I won't change a bit my prejudiced ideas!".

It's always the same with you:
it's fun talking basketball with you up to a point, we always have some points of agreement as well as some big disagreements, and then the interesting discussion gets lost, being replaced by your stubborn ways of arguing, preferably in order to support some wildly exaggerated and unrealistic ideas. Always, making some fantastic predictions about the future, with the assurance of somebody who read the newspapers of 2016 through 2020, and now is doing the rest of us a favor, in sharing those exciting "news of the future".
All this is always getting tedious and very boring. At this point, I'm done debating you.
Keep singing Noel's praises and bashing Len as long as you please.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 19, 2013 2:30:38 AM

"With the 17th pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers select Roy Hibbert, Center, Georgetown University." Oh, but I clamored for this guy, only to be told that taking him 9th way WAY TOO HIGH for this guy. Gee, only 8 picks later...
Charlottean, the more you write, the less you know about the NBA. By comparing Len to Ilgauskas, you would have a bona fide Center, and again, who cares what pick it is? No one is trading with Charlotte and there is no reason to roll the dice. Heck, people were iffy on how high Brook Lopez was taken and Charlotte passed there, as well in 2008. Right now, Cleveland is targeting either Len or Noel. If fills a need AND Len provides inside scoring.
Yeah, you would take Robinson now...and place him where? He's NOT going to pan out to be anything more than another backup. Wow, do you just decide these things all based on emotion, or are you truly that far off in your understanding of the game? Charlotte needs a Center with low post scoring abilities. The 2013 NBA Draft gives Charlotte the opportunity to fill that need. IF Charlotte wishes to opt for a starting Shooting Guard, as Gerald Henderson can go for all I care, then Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore are your choices, as one of them will be available. There is no deviating from this...there is no questioning it. You choose any of those three guys and you have a starter. THAT is your goal for this draft, as there are no superstars in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Posted by: Bob goes Horny | Jun 19, 2013 6:04:12 AM

comparing len to hibbert and noah.

len played with...........0 nba players at maryland. meaning, if he were an nba talent, he would have all the stat stuffing he wanted to do. if he were the MAN that everybody makes him out to be (top 5 pick) then he would dominate the way zeller did.

noah won championships in college. he DID dominate college basketball (defensively) and his stats are accumulated while al horford, corey brewer, tuarean green, david lee, anthony roberson, matt walsh, marresse speights, chris richard and others were there. and he still gave you comparable stats with greater impact.

and was drafted lower and falls right in line with where he was picked.

I'm only being super hard on len because the world is talking about him being a top 5 pick. that's the ONLY reason. if we're talking later on, I'm on board with him. I DO THINK HE'S A STARTER. but why spend a top 5 pick on a safe guy? and if you were going to.......zeller is safer.

hibbert played with bowman & cook, jeff green, dejuan summers, vernon macklin, pat ewing jr., etc. playing with good players makes it EASIER but almost always dilutes stats (we argued about this with barnes' rebounding numbers last year).

on to the point about staying longer in school.......the reason why roy hibbert is having a successful nba career is because he spent his development years in college so by the time he gets to 25-26, he's still on rookie scale by the time he reaches legit starter caliber and earns his extension.

the opposite of that would be byron mullens. he's a RFA this year and hasn't proven much of anything because he left school early. If he had stayed in OKC, he might be out of the league this year. Using biyombo as an example......he won't hit his prime for another 5-6 years and his rookie scale is going to be long gone by then. That leaves a very dangerous situation where a 22 year old can be not fully developed and be given up on. big men historically take longer to develop (dwight howard being a major exception to that rule).

I keep asking for the precedent of a guy that left school as an underclassmen with the kind of numbers len put up and went on to have a successful nba career (and i don't mean career backup, i mean star).

My argument is entirely based on the value of the pick. it's more worthwhile for us to risk it on a possible super star - possible bust, than on a possible solid 10 year starting center - possible bust.

I don't understand all these twists and holes in my stance. There's part opinion (based on facts) and there's part facts. and i've been consistent with it throughout the year of watching len play. which part is it that i'm so off on? me and you agree he's not the right guy at 4 and that's what i'm arguing. if it comes of hyperbolic, so be it......he's NOT worth a top 4 pick and that's the point being made. If we deal with minnesota and take len at 9, i'm absolutely cool with that.

great pick at 9. horrible pick at 4. roy hibbert is the 4th best guy on indiana, brook lopez is the 3rd best guy on brooklyn. we're talking about drafting a guy 4th overall that isn't expected to be as good as lopez and isn't expected to be better than hibbert (based on what everyone including len is saying with the ilgauskas comparison).


cleveland took dion waiters last year and you just said "who cares what pick it is" and i'm the one that doesn't know anything about the nba. there are ALWAYS stars in each draft. there has never been a draft with zero stars. there are few that have only 1 or 2. This draft doesn't have any CLEAR stars. but there will be stars. somebody will step out over the next 5 years. and on that note.......this draft is insanely deep with starter caliber guys. that's why taking len or anybody deemed to be a safe starter at 4 vs. a risky potential superstar lacks value(in my mind, only noel, mclemore and maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe muhammed fit that description (not saying take shabazz)) . You can get a starting caliber big late in this draft. Jeff Withey is projected mid 2nd round at this point. Is len REALLY that much better than withey? Is len better than zeller who is projected around 10? is he better than adams who is projected around 20?

and you guys (besides sandy) continue to ignore the fact that the guy just had stress fracture surgery. as much as they are downplaying that, it is equally as serious as noel's situation.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 19, 2013 10:47:56 AM

Charlottean, there will be NO trading down for Charlotte. Let's just deal with the 4th pick and what is reality here. Len, McLemore, or Oladipo. Sorry, but you can have the biggest hard-on for Nerlens Noel, but he's going to be a bust. Len is taller and more dominant inside than Zeller. No one is taking Zeller in the top 5. Len, on the other hand, is being considered by Cleveland at 1 and Charlotte at 4.
It is finally time to draft a big man at the top of the draft. Noel has the same skill set as Biyombo. Noel is not even close to Hibbert, and he never will be. I guess we can go round and round, just like I did last year with people when they wanted to convince me about Thomas Robinson. I said to stay away and that Charlotte didn't need him...and I was right. Nerlens Noel is the next Hasheem Thabeet, and you can bet on it.
The safe pick in Oladipo, but Orlando has fallen in love with him.

Posted by: Bob goes Horny | Jun 19, 2013 10:48:42 PM

this is how you know when you're talking to someone that hasn't watched noel play.

when have you seen biyombo catch the ball at the elbow, face up, dribble drive and finish with authority?

when have you seen biyombo step out into a passing lane on a pick and pop, steal the pass and take it the length of the floor and finish?

you're talking about comparing amare stoudemire and ben wallace. larry sanders and luc mbah a moute. just because they both rebound and block shots and aren't jump shooters does NOT mean they have the same game. ALL BIG MEN SHOULD REBOUND AND BLOCK SHOTS.

not to mention if noel is as raw as he is and as young as he is and as unskilled as he is......how did he manage to put up the same kind of stats as a freshmen against tougher competition than len did as a sophomore?

if noel is a bust it's because of the knee not because of the game. but if the knee is healthy, he's way better than ilgauskas i mean len.

think about how insane our defense will be with both of them blocking shots. left side right side, strong side, weak side, doesn't matter. we'd have shot blockers all over the place when you include hendo and mkg in the conversation. the offense would be slightly weaker (not drastically) but you'd have guys young enough to develop (with ewing and hopefully olajuwon and shaq too) to make them dominant big men by the time they fill out and reach their prime in 5 years.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 20, 2013 10:38:52 AM

You can tell when someone makes decisions based on emotion. Alex Len is being projected as the 1st pick in the NBA Draft by many who are in "the Know" in Cleveland, as they don't like the high risk of Nerlens Noel. You are still stuck on the notion that Len is only a pick you make at 10, which is so far off base from what is actually going on. You only look at potential, not at where the player fits into the team, not the level of weaknesses or how long it may take to match the NBA Professional level, nor do you look at the environment surrounding the player. You continue to take college players, fall in love with them, and somehow believe their game seamlessly translates over to the NBA. Really? Perhaps you shouldn't be so caught up in the College game, Tobacco Road Boy, as you've never personally witnessed the building of a NBA team. Once you actually experience NBA Titles from your "HOME" team, then perhaps you can understand how the pieces all fit.
Charlottean, you open yourself up to criticism because you are so bent on seeing things one way. Nerlens Noel IS the 2013 version of Stomile Swift. Same size, build, hype...Stromile Swift was going to be a faster, sleeker Shawn Kemp. You want to know how THAT worked out? Please spare me the hype because I have seen this movie before. Do a bit of research on Stromile, the former LSU "can't miss" product, and watch the college highlights of Swift. Perhaps I am just a bit older than you (Mid 40's), so I remember all of this, but I have seen busts like Noel coming from the NBA Draft since I began following it in the mid 70's. Sure, he'll hang around the league, be traded, find a fit and usefulness...but you would NEVER build a team around this guy. Alex Len is simply a piece to the puzzle and a more solid selection at this point in Charlotte's rebuilding process.

Charlottean, you're not going to have a skinny team of gazelles that cannot play inside, for you will never win a NBA Game.

Posted by: Bob goes Horny | Jun 23, 2013 1:25:56 PM

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