The NBA Draft is Thursday night and many have Kentucky center Nerlens Noel as the #1 overall pick. While it would be a great honor to be the first pick, Noel is downplaying it’s significance.
“It definitely won’t be the end of the world,” Noel said of not being the top overall pick, via Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. “I mean, look at the past. Look at how many great players haven’t gone No. 1 and see what they’ve done with their careers. You can still become an All-Star and be successful. I mean, look at Carlos Boozer. He was a second-round pick. I mean, when you look at guys who went No. 2, you have Kevin Durant and a lot of other successful guys. If that happens, I’m just going to stay focused and use it as more motivation. I’m still going to be the player that I want to be. It’s all about your attitude and approach.”
He is coming off a torn ACL that could have NBA teams hesitating to take him early in the draft. He also weighed in at around 206 pounds recently making him incredibly light for NBA Centers. Chris Bosh is one of the lightest centers in the league and he has nearly 30 pounds on Noel.
But maybe Noel should be worried. NBA rookie contracts are set in stone and the difference per season between a #1 pick and a #3 pick is almost a million dollars.