Maryland center Alex Len is rapidly moving up the 2013 NBA Draft board, and as crazy as it sounds, may be the first overall pick.
Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel was expected to be the top pick by many, but the Cavaliers are concerned about his ACL injury that may sideline him for the first few months of the regular season.
Noel told USA Today that he is healing well, but is hoping to be back around Christmas. That may scare the Cavaliers, as owner Dan Gilbert is looking for a shot at the playoffs next season.
So, their attention is shifting to Len, whose biggest fan may be Cavaliers executive Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Ilgauskas, a former Cavaliers center, had a game that was comparable to that of the prospect’s. Both Len and Ilgauskas are long, lanky, and can score around the basket, although Len does not have the outside shooting touch that Ilgauskas had.
Len averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and two blocks for the Terrapins last season, and will visit with the Cavaliers next week. He is recovering from an injury of his own, but his ankle surgery is nothing compared Noel’s torn ACL.
The Noel vs. Len debate will be very interesting for the Cavaliers. Both are talented centers, but Noel may take a while to develop and his injury is definitely a setback.
If they want to win now, and had to make a choice at No. 1, they should go with Alex Len.