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John Calipari: Cavaliers’ GM scouted Kentucky more than any other GM

May 23, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

Marshall v Kentucky Getty Images

There’s a big risk that comes with draft Nerlens Noel.

And not just his torn ACL.

Noel played only 24 games last season, and although that’s more than twice as many as Kyrie Irving did his lone season at Duke, it’s still a pretty small sample. I think Noel proved enough to justify becoming the No. 1 pick if his injury checks out OK, but I’d be more confident if he had played more.

NBA teams typically have access to college practices, so they should have more info than the rest of us. It’s sound like that’s especially true of the Cavaliers with Noel.

John Calipari, via Mary Schmitt Boyer of The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer:

“Chris Grant has been in our building more than any other GM. That’s no disrespect to any other GM. That’s just a fact. He and his staff are very thorough in what they’ve done.

If Noel (again, assuming there are no additional red flags with his injury) impressed Grant in the moments the rest of us couldn’t see, Cleveland will will probably draft the Kentucky center. If Noel didn’t, the Cavaliers might pass.

Either way, this means the Cavaliers should get this pick right – if they can correctly diagnose his injury future, which is another matter entirely. But this is a first step before tackling that larger issue.

  1. hdanger10 - May 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    May I be the first to go conspiracy theory here? Sounds like Cleveland knew the fix was in already and targeted their time.

    Bobcats just cannot catch a break. I thought it would end this year with MJ needing some help. Maybe it changes with Wiggins next year?!

  2. jjthesportsguy - May 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Seems a little fishy to me that the team spending the most time at Kentucky scouting also happens to be the team that ends up with the number one pick. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence……..

    • dangernearing - May 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Oh Emm Gee! Spare us, plz!

    • slowclyde86 - May 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      So you’re saying its fishy that a team guaranteed to pick near the top of the draft was investigating a player pegged by most to go at or near the top of the draft? You don’t get out much, do you?

      • asimonetti88 - May 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        You might not be so slow after all clyde, you beat me to the punch here. Was just going to say the exact same thing.

      • jjthesportsguy - May 23, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        This was a dig at the rigged NBA draft lottery. My comment was pure sarcasm. Nothing more, nothing less.

    • doubledown44 - May 23, 2013 at 6:01 PM

      With all the talent Kentucky has, teams may as well just assign a scout to live on the campus. The Cavs were scouting more than just Nerlens Noel.

      Having said that, the whole Cleveland Plain Dealer article linked above is worth reading.

  3. brucewaynewins - May 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Can a NBA team doctor do a medical exam on a college player before the draft to get an idea of the true nature of their injuries and not a biased report from a doctor hired by the players agent?

    • asimonetti88 - May 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      That’s a good question. I know in the NFL, players go through physicals at the Scouting Combine. I would assume it is the same in the NBA but I’m not sure.

      • Kurt Helin - May 24, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Yes they do, there are league medical reports on every player in the draft. That is how everyone knew DeJuan Blair had no ACLs or last year they red flagged Sullinger’s back.

    • ljl2 - May 23, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      The league doctors give physicals. They red-flagged Jared Sullinger last year before the draft which made him slide from late lottery to mid-20s. And they were right about the potential injury risk.

  4. stephenolszewski - May 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    As a Cavs fan it’s good to see your GM doing his homework, just hope Grant makes the right choice

  5. lastdukestreetking - May 23, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    @brucewaynewins Of course every team with a shot at Noel will want their own docs to examine him. He cannot be forced into it though.

  6. ch8878 - May 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    The fix was in

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