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June 11, 2013

Kentucky's Nerlens Noel available at No. 4 to Charlotte Bobcats? Not inconceivable

            Might former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel still be available when the Charlotte Bobcats pick fourth on June 27?

            A player-personnel executive connected to a lottery team thinks that’s a real possibility, despite Noel often being listed as the first or second pick in various mock drafts.

            This executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to give pre-draft interviews, predicts the first three picks will be some order of Nevada-Las Vegas forward Anthony Bennett, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore and Georgetown forward Otto Porter, Jr.

            That means the Bobcats might have access to Noel, a shotblocker who suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament during his only college season. Noel can’t work out for teams leading up to the draft. He said at the draft combine in Chicago last month that he likely wouldn’t be ready to play before late December or January.

            Why is Noel no longer a top-three lock? Uncertainty, the source said, related to the knee injury. He hasn’t signed with an agent, which has made it more difficult to gather information on his rehabilitation. Some teams might be skittish about using such a high pick on him.

            Bennett, a combo forward, and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, a guard-forward, appear to be the risers in the 2013 draft. At around 6-8, Bennett is a little short to play power forward in the NBA, but he’s a strong scorer and shooter. Oladipo’s intensity and energy increasingly impressed scouts throughout the college season.

    The Bobcats used the No. 2 pick in 2012 on Kentucky small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

            The first three picks in 2013 belong to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

            The Bobcats have yet to start pre-draft workouts. The night of the draft lottery last month general manager Rich Cho listed better rebounding and 3-point shooting as the team’s primary needs. Cho also said the makeup of the current roster should have little or no bearing in who the Bobcats select at No. 4.

Posted by Observer Sports on June 11, 2013 at 08:32 AM | Permalink


I say we pass on Noel. Either Bennet, Len or Zeller in that order make the most sense at 4.

Posted by: nucat | Jun 11, 2013 8:52:48 AM

pass on noel at 4? no effing way. as much as I like zeller, no way I would take him over noel unless there was a horrible diagnosis on the knee.

absolutely no effing way you take len over noel. risk is equal talent is not.

i really don't see all 3 teams passing on noel, but it's completely conceivable that either he or mclemore fall to 4. probability is there. especially with washington not needing a 2. we saw what happened last year with thomas robinson....crazier ish can happen on draft night.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 9:17:57 AM

Talent is not equal between Len and Noel? Are you serious? Did you even watch Noel and Len play this year? Len is far better offensivly than Noel. Not even close... Noel is faster and can jump higher - but that is because he is so thin. When he bulks up to 255 like Len he will not be able to jump like he can now. Noel is a serious risk - he is clearly cashing in on his hype... Len is a risk too though - so I would trade down and pick up a guy who is less risky but still has star potential. I would trade down with OKC and let them draft the project... Then I would grab either Plumlee or Dieng at #12 and then a couple solid guards/wings at #30 and #32 - these guys all have solid potential: Bullock, Hardaway, Rice, Thomas, Wolters, Green, Brown and Leslie

Posted by: Dom | Jun 11, 2013 9:35:28 AM

Bennett, Noel, Porter, Len. That's how the Horncats board should look.

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Jun 11, 2013 9:37:01 AM

There is a reason Noel's stock keeps slipping...ACL
If you like the look of Derrick Rose in a suit on the bench, draft Noel. If you want to pay a kid millions $$$ to play, pass on Noel.

Posted by: George Jetson | Jun 11, 2013 9:37:16 AM

noel or bennett. who cares if Bennett is undersized, he is a stud.

Posted by: big gulps | Jun 11, 2013 9:38:25 AM

If McLemore drops to #4 then we trade down with Minn for #9 and #26. Then we can take Plumlee or Dieng at #9 and Hardaway or Rice at #26. With Plumlee and Dieng you get two guys who we know can play defense and rebound and pass the ball. Both have a lot more "untapped" potential than people are saying despite their age. Hardaway and Rice are going to make their fathers proud in the NBA...

Posted by: Dom | Jun 11, 2013 9:44:57 AM

looks like charlotte will blow it again with noel...the pick should be victor o. from Indiana. He will be a star. Mark my words.

Posted by: brion williams | Jun 11, 2013 9:46:34 AM

Love that the guy up there calling Noel and Len a "serious risk" wants to draft Mason Plumlee.


Posted by: Steve | Jun 11, 2013 9:56:20 AM

I don't get the Bennett hype. Is he taller than MKG?

Posted by: G2M | Jun 11, 2013 9:57:50 AM

I like Bennett or Len over Noel. I agree Noel MAY be the best on defense out of the 3, but we need scoring and rebounding. Noel would help with rebounding maybe but not scoring not with his small 7 foot frame. I respect Cho and his thoughts on 3 point scoring, however at some point you have to have an inside presence. Goldesn State is GREAT from downtown, but the lack of an inside presence did them in this year, and all the 3's couldnt keep them in it.

Posted by: David | Jun 11, 2013 10:03:45 AM

I gotta question the draft Plumlee advice as well....

Bennett is an athlete, but not in the same style as MKG. Bennett is more of a Larry Johnson type player. He can score the ball better than MKG. His stock is up for a reason. I think he will be a consistent performer in the NBA for years.

Posted by: big gulps | Jun 11, 2013 10:04:50 AM

Don't draft Noel... He is good just not for us. No one is this draft will be a star but there are some good role players/starters. I say we go and grab Len. Move Biyombo to the 4 spot where he belongs... I like Bennett too but that lineup is too small. Bennett and Biyombo??? Get a beefy body in the middle who dominated Plumlee.

Posted by: Oates | Jun 11, 2013 10:05:10 AM

If Noel is there at 4 Oladipo will not be.

If he is avaialable. You make that pick faster than NASTAR can type a negative comment about the Bobcats.

Posted by: Skip | Jun 11, 2013 10:11:09 AM

No agent and no communication with perspective teams?? It spells doom. Run away form this kid. Go with Len, he is the only NBA ready player, and you can't teach 7'.

Posted by: D Merritt | Jun 11, 2013 10:11:30 AM

Pass on Noel. He's not nearly what the media is making him out to be. First off..he's coming off a torn ACL. Chances are he probably won't even be at full strength this year, if even ready to play at all. 2nd..he lacks an offensive game. True he is 7 ft tall, however that doesn't translate to success in the NBA. Even at 7ft this guy will get pushed around taking him out his only real talent which is rebounding and blocking shots. Even if he comes in and blocks 4 or 5 shots a game, it is not enough to warrant a top 5 pick. This guy is fools gold to the max. He will get destroyed in the paint even by guys that are shorter than him. Plus that knee if very questionable..especially on such a tall guy who depends on his athletic ability, if that is taken away he is a bonafide bench warmer at the next level. Don't be fooled by the media hype and what "others" are saying. I wouldn't take this guy with the 4th pick even if we got paid for it.

Posted by: Hugo | Jun 11, 2013 10:25:52 AM

If the doctors clear his knee, this is a no brainer. Without the injury he was the clear number one. It would be a gift if he is available. Great shot blocker. Better than Davis. Will be a great rebounder and has the athletic ability to run the court and become a decent low post player. Take him immediately. If you watched him play you know he has talent and is only 19.

Posted by: Johnson | Jun 11, 2013 10:39:52 AM

I realize Cho is all about "draft for talent, trade for need," but Noel's skill set is too close to Biyombo's. Yes, Noel is more talented, but if we draft him, now we have two raw shot blockers with not much offense.

I suppose one could wait a few years and see which one develops best and then trade the other, but that's getting a bit too cute for my tastes.

Posted by: Bull City Dog | Jun 11, 2013 10:55:19 AM

One thing I like about picking Noel at No. 4, aside from the fact that he's the best prospect in the draft if his knee is OK long-term, is that it would be a tacit way of tanking next season. Let him sit out the whole year, and it's a win-win. His knee gets 100% healthy and the Horncats can focus on the real goal for next season, which should be putting themselves in the best position possible to land Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle or Marcus Smart.

If Noel is off the board, I'm OK with Bennett or Oladipo. Don't want McLemore, even if he slides; I acknowledge that he's a good athlete/scorer, but he disappears. No intensity.

Len didn't exactly dominate at Maryland, so I'm not sure why he would be expected to flourish at the next level. I get that he'd benefit from improved guard play, but still ... shouldn't he have put up better numbers on a bad Maryland team?

Anybody who wants Zeller at No. 4 ... that's just straight-up crazy talk.

Posted by: Pete | Jun 11, 2013 10:57:36 AM

len being "better" than noel has way more to do with len being a year older than anything.

biyombo and noel being similar now does not equate to 26 year old noel and 28 year old biyombo being similar. they have development potential going in 2 different ways.

and noel being skinny.....he's 19.

zeller at 4 is a better return than len at 4. again.......show me all of the successful pros that came out of college with a more mediocre resume than len and didn't stay for 4 years. underclassmen that come out that mediocre have all failed. there is NO precedent for success. meanwhile we've seen plenty of guys come back successfully from ACL injuries early on.

ricky rubio, al jefferson, david west, jamal crawford, kendrick perkins, kyle lowry, baron davis all tore ACL's early and went on to play at a high level. baron davis tore his in college and was an ELITE athlete in the nba for years.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 11:28:27 AM

Please let McLemore fall to #4.

If not I'm good with trading the #4 to Minn. for #9, #26 and D. Williams.

Posted by: Captain | Jun 11, 2013 11:46:42 AM

Bobnets will get a good player at 4. I like the idea that they can just let someone fall to them. I would be happy with Noel, Oladipo, MClemore, Porter or Bennett. Porter or Bennett being my first choices.

Posted by: Davo | Jun 11, 2013 11:57:20 AM

BTW- I was suggesting taking Plumlee or Dieng after trading down to #9 or #12. Not at #4...

The rumor mill is saying Houston wants to move Thomas Robinson, Lin and Asik to clear up cap space to sign Howard and Paul. I think the Cats should trade #4 to Minn for #9 and #26. Minn really wants McLemore or Olidipo - so they might do this trade to get one of them. Then the Cats could move #9 and the first round pick Portland or Detroit owes us to Houston for Asik and Robinson. We would still have two picks likely in the top ten in 2014 and a high second rounder.

We then take Hardaway, Rice or Bullock at #26 this year.

I really like Bullock - but I would rather have Hardaway since he has a better handle and can actually play point. Rice is a scoring machine and has to be considered despite off the court issues. If he is on the board after 25 he is a steal...

Posted by: Dom | Jun 11, 2013 12:06:15 PM

Actually i forgot we still owe Chicago a first rounder for Tyrus Thomas... That will likely cost one of those picks we have from Portland or Detroit.

Posted by: Dom | Jun 11, 2013 12:10:48 PM

^ and draft Shabazz at 9, Bullock at 26.

Posted by: Kevin | Jun 11, 2013 12:14:35 PM

If they stay at 4, you have to take the BEST player available. The Chicago pick is still lottery protected until 2016 so it should be safe. (That was a mistake...T. Thomas...a BUST!!) A lot of you are right with a trade down because there will be several shooters available at 26. Plumlee would only be good at 26...Dieng in mid rounds...a trade for T. Robinson would be good but not by giving up a number one lottery pick. If you make the trade with Minnesota and include T. Thomas for D. Williams, trade for T. Thomas. This is an upgrade. It is true that Len may not be there at 9, but if you make the T. Robinson trade, the Len pick would be good. This draft may be very interesting with 1-5 changing daily.

Posted by: Glenn | Jun 11, 2013 12:35:51 PM

Just for everyone that says Len is no good, lets compare his sophmore season to that of Roy Hibbert...

Hibbert 11.6 points 6.9 rebounds 1.6 blocks
Len 11.9 points 7.8 rebounds 2.1 blocks

Posted by: Tony | Jun 11, 2013 12:39:31 PM

no dom, the pick we owe chicago has nothing to do with picks other people us. it's only tied to our pick and is top 12 or top 14 protected next year. barring unforeseen circumstances, we keep our pick in 2014 draft.

neither plumlee or dieng are projected anywhere near 9. that's a huge reach. 1 of them will almost definitely be available at 26. neither of them are better than len or zeller and 1 of which will more than likely be available at 9.

houston isn't moving asik and lin unless they are SURE they are getting paul also. and more than likely would send them back to the clippers in a sign and trade (assuming the clippers want lin).

houston HAS to move robinson to even be in play for howard and I don't think they want an additional draft pick for this year. Pretty sure they want picks for next year (which we have 1-3 of).

I only like the minnesota deal if it includes derrick williams. Even if we were able to make a move for robinson also, williams is an asset worth having. more so than the #26 pick. I don't think minny would do all 3 but I could be wrong. If they did, that would be a steal for us. Especially if zeller was available at 9 (don't think he will be).

And out of all the shooters in the draft......none better than curry.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 12:44:04 PM

nothing to do with picks other people owe us*

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 12:44:42 PM

let's compare len to roy hibbert.....

hibbert stayed for 4 years at georgetown. hibbert didn't have stress fracture injury on his ankle. hibbert isn't that great of a center as it stands and is grossly overpaid on a max deal but he LOOKS great because he's a decent big man in a league starved for decent big men.

hibbert was drafted 17th not 4th.

dude just came off a blockbuster year of 12 and 8.

if you ask me can len have a similar career as roy hibbert? I would say, yeah sure that's probably his ceiling. and if you ask me would I draft roy hibbert as a sophomore 4th overall........eff no. he's part of an indiana team that is well built and having a lot of success developing their own draft picks. but he's not an elite star player. he's part of a core that hill, west, george, stephenson, mahimi, hansbrough, etc. are all a major part of.

none of whom were top 5 picks. top 10 for that matter. top 5 you're looking for franchise changers, not role players. len is not a franchise changer. simple as that. and there WILL BE 3 franchise changers in this draft when we look back 10 years from now. and we will have either gotten one or passed on one.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 12:51:50 PM

I think Bennett will be an face-up offensive all-star and would be my choice at 4. Cats/Hornets desperately need a back-to-the-basket scoring center as well.

Posted by: Airbrush87 | Jun 11, 2013 12:52:21 PM

Rick, saw your article with 8 or 10 other potential picks lists followed by "Rick's Comments".

How about you give us some specific analysis on how each and every one of those players would affect current BOBcat players in terms of playing time, role, etc...? Is that too much to ask?

Then, in conclusion, tell us exactly who you think the Bobcats should draft. This would be value added...you lists area not.

Fellas, trading down ain't gonna happen, early there's nobody in this draft worth trading up for.

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jun 11, 2013 1:46:37 PM

This is what I thought would be the "nightmare scenario" for the Bobcats: Nerlens Noel is not picked in the top three - for good reasons - and then the Bobcats can't believe how "lucky" they got, and jump on the "opportunity".

In the first place, it's not simply another torn ACL. It's a repeat injury for a very young player, and you look at it differently than if it were a first occurrence.
Noel already had a torn ACL in the same knee in his sophomore high school season.
So, this is an injury prone player, with a high probability for this injury to be repeated in the future.
Now, add to this that what makes Noel a special player is length and athleticism above skills. What will be left of his great leaping ability after recovery from the injury, we don't know yet. We know even less what will happen to this ability in the very likely event that he'll reinjure that knee.

Even if he was a healthy, he's been overhyped. He was listed at 6'11" (or 6"10", or 7' - depending on the source) and 215 pounds in college, and just 205 pounds at the combine. This is not an NBA center, this is a flying spaghetti!
I understand players can bulk up after getting in the NBA, but there is a big difference between starting at 230 pounds (like Cody Z., who can also play PF), and 205 pounds (like Noel, whose game is for C only). In how many years can he be expected to get to a decent size, so he won't be pushed around by legit NBA centers?

Both in strengths and weaknesses he's similar to Biyombo. But Noel is injury prone and weak, while Biz is stronger and durable.

Here is a simple rule of thumb: if Noel is worth a high draft pick, he goes in the top three. If he doesn't, it's because the top three teams in this draft see the high risk involved. Then, we should see the same, and use our draft pick on a better and safer option.


I already posted a comment saying that Len is a center with very good potential at both ends of the floor, but his injury is even worse than Noel's. Never mind his less than stellar play at Maryland, he played with guards who were not too good at making plays for him inside.

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.

It would be a big mistake to gamble a high lottery pick on a player who's carrying a serious injury. It's very hard to fully recover from it, especially when the pressure on that ankle is that of a 255 pounds center.

[about his injury, I'm reposting my previous comment, since it looks like not many fans realize its seriousness].

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 11, 2013 2:30:08 PM

Ok as it looks yea no way can pass on Noel, but Bennett is the big steal in this draft full of non superstars. I really like Mclemore in this draft, but I dont see Hendo going anywhere unless he is expecting a ridiculous amount of money. Bennett is a small for his position, but he has a variety of offensive moves like Carmelo or Grandma ma aka LJ. I do like the move for bringing in T Rob as opposed to Chris Bosh (not a hall of fame right now).
Hold on Charlottean you saying the best shooter in the draft is Curry. Not like his brother I will have to disagree. Ben Mack will be the better player with his diverse athleticism and 3pt shot.
I remember you kinda downplayed Danny Green of the Spurs when I said he should go to the Bobcats a few years ago because of his shooting ability. Now look he is one of the top 10 most accurate shooters in league behind the 3pt line. Dude was in the straight d league prior to that.

Posted by: tbird | Jun 11, 2013 2:32:05 PM

Draft Noel if he falls to four. Plain and simple. This draft is weak, regardless of who you make an argument for.

Most are hurt or just don't have that star potential.

Bennett was also injured several times throughout his highschool days. And he's injured now.

Noel is a one a kind, game changing player. If he falls to four and recovers, with Ewing coaching him, he will be a beast.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jun 11, 2013 4:03:50 PM


lot of good stuff here. 1st....everywhere i've read said that it was a growth plate injury in high school, not a torn ACL. same knee, but that's not the same injury twice like a thomas davis or leon powe type situation.

that said.......he recovered just fine from the 1st injury with poor medical care. imagine how well he comes from the proper care. cup half full on my end, but I see the argument.

he measured 6'10 without shoes (add 1-2 inches for playing height) and 205 pounds. 215 as playing weight is completely conceivable given the muscle mass a guy can drop when he's sitting around for a few months instead of working out.

anthony davis weighed 222 at the combine last year. there's not a big gap between 205 and 222 when factoring in the injury. moe harkless weight 207 last year. had a solid rookie season. alexis ajinca was 207 at the same age, he's up around 240 at age 25 and coming off a 16 and 7 season for sig.

Just trying to give the evidence to the contrary. I think noel is the guy, barring the medical report looking like a huge problem.


i don't recall ever knocking danny green (i'm a unc fan) but seriously.......nobody saw his shooting coming. nobody. roy williams, poppovich. nobody. not on the nba level and as high %, quantity and in pressure situations. he's a great story for any athlete to look at. starting and producing in the finals for a guy that was a 2nd round pick, cut several times, d-league, europe, etc. had to deal with his father being in prison for drug trafficking while he was in college. dude is something else.

but i mean....you question seth curry's shooting? dude shot 44% last year. mclemore is in the discussion, no doubt, but it's not like i'm stepping out on a limb here. nobody else is even in the discussion. reggie bullock? glen rice jr.? not close.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 4:11:44 PM

forgot to mention that if noel falls to 4, to me it just looks like orlando got mclemore and wanted him more and that washington and cleveland weren't going to wait.

washington eventually needs a young big man, but not necessarily right now. they might be thrilled to have porter or bennett instead. cleveland might feel the same. I actually highly doubt cleveland keeps the pick. if they do, it almost has to be porter or mclemore. i just don't see them taking noel when they feel like they should be a playoff team this year and immediately and noel might be out the whole year + be a project after that.

not to mention every year guys over think the draft and pass on the best players. last year everyone out thought each other about drummond. and barnes. and sullinger (even though to some degree they were right about the back). 2011 it was leonard and vucevic. every year somebody that should go top 5-10 goes late and shows they should have been the top 5 guy everyone knew he was before the "experts" picked him apart and convinced each other that he wasn't.

and every year somebody reaches for someone ridiculously high. like we kind of did with biyombo although I think they had good information that someone was taking him high and I think he's going to work out just fine long term. as long as we don't find out he's really 29.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 4:20:08 PM

We need to be smart and select LEN. This guy is it and we need not play games anymore.

Posted by: Shedrick Williams | Jun 11, 2013 5:06:33 PM

charlottean, you're right that his high school injury was not a torn ACL (that's what I read on HoopsHype) but, it was an injury of the same knee, which, as a doctor (Robin West) said may have predisposed him to the ACL injury in college.

In the end, I think this is a distinction without a difference, because repeat injuries in the same knee at such young age still qualify him as injury prone, and a serious risk for repeat injuries in the future.

About the measurements: if you want the height without shoes only, fine, but then Moe Harkless is a lanky SF, 6'7" without shoes and 207 lbs at the combine: this is a very unfavorable comparison to Noel. Anthony Davis was same height without shoes, but 17 pounds heavier than Noel (at 222 pounds at the combine). You had the right numbers, but how can you say such a difference doesn't matter, I don't get it; Noel lost 10 pounds (not 17!) since he was injured.
For Ajinca, I found 225 pounds in 2008 (on two web sites, my friend), 238 in 2013. Still wouldn't be strong enough for banging against NBA centers, and his starting point was evidently higher.

So, what's the point of splitting hairs?
Noel is still injury prone, still too weak, still having (physically) a lower starting point than Davis or Ajinca, will still need several years (how many?) to get to a decent weight, and I have no idea how his knees will hold through those years.

There is no way he's not picked in the top three, UNLESS those teams think same as I do: high risk prospect, find someone safer for a high lottery pick.

Look, can you still believe Noel is a good use of our 4th pick, with all the weaknesses and risks involved ? I certainly don't, and there will be better and safer options for us. And btw, I appreciate Len, but people should also take a careful look at the baggage he carries. No Len either, as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 11, 2013 5:45:02 PM

the number i gave you for ajinca is right from the combine.

he's listed at 248 for sig and looks it too. if noel actually was 215 playing weight and dropped 10 pounds......one could argue that he could have gone from 215 to 225 during that same period. the point i'm trying to make is.....he's 19. there's precedent for guys being that weight at that age and being fine.

regarding the knee......if it's 2 isolated injuries, it's a problem. if it was 1 injury that led to another injury.......then surgery should fix that and not be an issue going forward (assuming he rehabs properly). either way, you have precedent for guys coming back from those knee injuries and playing at a high level. more so than the ankle injury that len is dealing with as you have noted. almost all nba players have knee problems of some sort whether its tendinitis, fluid build up, bone bruises, acl and mcl sprains, etc. it's part of the sport. i don't think you give noel the greg oden tag YET and greg oden WORE that tag and still went unanimous #1.

again, I don't think that just because he falls to 4 that means everyone else sees the red flags that we don't. If we were picking 4 and I'm the suns picking 5 and he fell to 5, I absolutely would feel that way. but cleveland is for some reason low on patience and want to make the playoffs NOW. they aren't in the position that we or orlando are in where you go high risk high reward. they already have a franchise guy, they just need a compliment. it makes the most sense for them to draft porter, bennett, or trade the pick.

orlando will most likely go noel/mclemore whichever is available.

washington is in a similar spot to cleveland where while they need a big man, they can't really run the risk and they don't really want to wait 2 years on a guy to recover and develop. they've given porter a guarantee although I imagine that was based on noel and mclemore going 1-2.

there are plenty of scenarios where you could see noel or mclemore fall to 4 and there be no red flag, just teams deciding that if all 4 or 5 guys (oladipo) are relatively speaking equal, that they draft for best fit.

could see porter-mclemore-bennett or bennett-mclemore-porter.

I still think someone is going to trade up for noel though.

the issues regarding the agent = he's waiting on Jayz to become an approved agent. you don't really need an agent in his shoes right now.

the reward outweighs the risk. i mean we're talking about him or len. what's the difference between len and mullens realistically? so if you draft noel you miss out on len or oladipo or bennett or whoever you would have taken otherwise. if he's healthy, you got the best player at pick 4. if he's not healthy, you try again next year. but in our position you HAVE to take those risks to try and land franchise players. bynum is a perfect example. Our tolerance for pain has to be higher than other franchises. not to do anything overly stupid but take chances to swing for the fences.

gotta swing the bat to hit the ball.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 6:19:14 PM


comparing him to biyombo is insane. he's so much closer to anthony davis or shawn kemp.

i absolute salivate thinking about us having kemba and noel on the pick and roll for the next 10 years and noel and biyombo guarding the paint together. it's too perfect. ASSUMING HEALTH.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 6:23:08 PM

Strengths: shot blocking, rebounding (thanks to great wing span and athleticism), runs the floor very well.
Weaknesses: low offensive skills, must be set up close to the basket in pick and rolls, or on fastbreaks, to score, FT% - little over 50% (which points more to a basic lack of offensive talent, not so much to being on a learning curve).

Mainly a defensive center, with limited offensive role, and not suited for playing PF.

So, who am I talking about - our 7th pick in 2011 (still, too high...), or the one you'd be willing to risk (I'd rather say sacrifice) our 4th pick in 2013 for?!!

No matter how optimistic you wanna be on both these centers, to think of pairing them (for defensive purposes) would be absurd; you'd be playing offense with three players plus two half-players. Unless, you think of those last minute situations, in which coaches keep making substitutions at every game interruption, and they'd be put there for the defensive possessions.

And I know Draft Express (which otherwise I highly respect) keeps being big on Noel (I knew that before watching their highly selective/glorifying video). Well, there are different opinions among those writing on Noel (including the critical ones); they (D.E.) are not those to pay the price if the guy they still see as #1 in their mock draft turns either into a total bust, or a mediocre bench player.

I'm not the first to recognize essential similarities in strengths/weaknesses between these two. As for differences, I noted the most important ones - and they go in Biyombo's favor.

We can draft well and safer too, and you know that.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 11, 2013 8:13:22 PM

when you watch noel and then watch biyombo, they look NOTHING alike.

noel's athleticism is so much more fluid. you never see biyombo get out in the passing lane, pick a guys pocket, take it the rest of the way and finish with authority. you're description above fits almost every post man that plays like a post man.

when did it become a major flaw that your big men don't stretch the floor. on one hand everyone complains that mullens doesn't play the post enough and on the other hand everyone complains that noel doesn't have range.

amare stoudemire made a HELLUVA pick and roll player with the EXACT offensive skill set that noel has. and noel is WAY BETTER defensively. again...I absolutely salivate thinking about walker and noel paired together.

we could ALWAYS draft safer. but when you're talking about noel, len, oladipo or bennett........how is it REALLY not worth the risk? if you're talking zeller.......i'm on board but I still favor noel to zeller if not for the health issue. if a doctor says "surgery looks to have repaired everything correctly" and 30 other doctors concur.....you have to go with noel. if not....sure go zeller. but the other guys? no effing way. not at 4.

if it fails you're only helping your draft stock for next year. you have to swing the bat to hit the ball. it's a 50/50 toss up. he'll either be an absolute stud or he'll be an injury case. he won't be thabeet.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 11, 2013 9:03:45 PM

Oh no, not every big man has great shot blocking ability, not every big man is equally athletic (and I mean good players) but also, not every big man capable of posting up is lacking in shooting range.
Look no farther than Alex Len, Cody Z. and Anthony Bennett too; they all have offensive versatility (scoring inside and outside), which is making them much more dangerous in offense (and it's even more important, when you're a lengthy light weight, who can't really post up against stronger defenders, but needs to get the open looks in the paint).

No two players are THE SAME, but what I mentioned above are essential features those two young centers share, which makes one redundant when you have the other.

Thanks to his versatile skills Cody can play both C and PF, and doesn't need to worry so much about putting on extra weight - though, no doubt, he will, and it will help him in the NBA.
It's good to see you're not among Cody's deniers. I know he's not perfect, and he was a bit less than expected in his sophomore year. Still, he's definitely worth the 4th pick (regardless of some weird biases against him, including at Draft Express). Also, it's silly to deny Bennett because he's somewhat undersized at 4 (again, good to see you're not among those deniers); he makes up for this with a mix of length, strength and skills. He's injured too, but his kind of injury doesn't appear to be as threatening as Len's, or as Noel's (since it's not his first serious knee episode).

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 12, 2013 2:02:23 AM

I like zeller as the pick and I hear what you're saying. But to look at a 19 year old like he's a finished product bothers me.

Shawn kemp had a game EXACTLY like noel's coming into the league and a few years later his go to was a post up fadeaway and elbow jumper.

Noel is NOT going to be a post up big a la shaq, but I can see him maneuvering in the post as a face up, drive by guy. his quickness is a weapon that offsets the lack of weight. I see he and biz working together with biz being the back to the basket, roaming the baseline and posted up on the block and noel being the high post face up/pick and roll finisher. and defensively, they'll look like duncan and splitter did last night (except with athletic ability, hops, and more length).

i think his floor is deandre jordan/javale mcgee where his ceiling is the ewing/morning/kemp genre. i think zeller's floor is ilgauskas and his ceiling is gasol.

len is like his ceiling is ilgauskas and his floor is like george zidek or some ish. i'm just not his bandwagon at all. no precedent of a guy coming out early that mediocre being successful. byron mullens is a great example and he was even more impressive in college and didn't have the injury. len was stat stuffing against 6-8 centers. and looked average against anybody with size. average for college, not pros.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 12, 2013 11:59:13 AM

I think you're selling Len way too short (worse than just a few days ago!). But, I'm not going into more detail on this, since I just don't believe in risking the 4th pick overall on a center with an ankle fracture. IF we 1. trade for TRob, and 2. we trade down our draft pick, then yes, I'd take a chance on him (if he's still available at whatever lower pick that would be).

I agree that Noel can develop the kind of driving offense (plus roller on pick and roll, plus fastbreaks) you mentioned. But that's a PF's game, minus the shooting range.
Shawn Kemp? He was always a pretty good FT shooter for a big man, much better than Noel from the beginning. That was a good predictor for Kemp's ability to develop a mid-range jump shot.

Between Noel and Cody, I go with Cody Zeller - because I think Cody can become a very good NBA PF. (He can be decent at C too, just decent, which is less than what you want from a 4th pick overall). He'll need to be paired with a center with bigger wing span, to make up for his main shortcoming. You do this, then you can be very happy with what he's capable of doing as a 4.

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 13, 2013 12:03:39 AM

I like either paired with biyombo as the center. good point about kemp's free throws vs. noels. silver lining there is.....the only thing he can do for the next 4 months or so is practice free throws. You would think that would lead to something. Especially if Dell is involved.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 13, 2013 9:40:42 AM

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