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Report: Cavaliers have Nerlens Noel on top of draft board

May 31, 2013, 5:05 PM EDT

Marshall v Kentucky Getty Images

This news really shouldn’t be a surprise — Nerlens Noel, because of his potential, is on top of everybody’s draft board. Well, not everybody because this time of year some media member is always making the pitch why the No. 2 or No. 3 picks should be taken over the presumptive No. 1. There were people pitching Carmelo Anthony over LeBron James in 2003.

Noel is the presumptive No. 1 and on the top of the Cavaliers draft board, reports Chad Ford of ESPN (behind the ESPN paywall).

The Cavs are on the clock with the No. 1 pick. Sources say that Kentucky center Nerlens Noel remains atop their team Big Board. However, Georgetown forward Otto Porter Jr. and Maryland center Alex Len are also in the mix….

Cavs general manager Chris Grant and his staff spent more time than anyone watching Noel this season, according to Kentucky head coach John Calipari. In fact, Grant recommended the surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, that Noel used for his ACL surgery. The Cavs also lean heavily on advanced metrics, and those numbers, regardless of the system, strongly favor Noel.

The Cavaliers are going to shop this pick around, mostly because Dan Gilbert is putting pressure on the front office to make the playoffs — waiting a season or two for Noel to recover from ACL surgery and find his form doesn’t fit with that plan.

But the rule No. 1 in drafting for the NBA is take the best available player. (Most teams use a tier system, where they rank players by tiers and then by fit within those tiers.) If the Cavaliers think Noel is the best player, on a tier of his own, take him. If your biggest problem is having too many talented players at one position, there are good ways to deal with that.

  1. qpoiu1 - May 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    you don’t say?

    • 4thquartermagic - May 31, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Methinks this report was “leaked” to drum up trade bait

  2. digitaldonnie - May 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Word around rumorville (via’s Terry Pluto) is that the Cavs are talking with Minn for a Kevin Love deal. But for the record he also states that are high on Golden States David Lee. Things will get interesting once this god awful season finally comes to a close

    • goraidersgospurs - May 31, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Hater….GO SPURS!!!

    • 4thquartermagic - May 31, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      Kyrie, K-Love and Lebron 2015?

  3. saint1997 - May 31, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    I just think it would be fun to trade Deng for this pick and let the Bulls take McLemore – sliding Butler to the 3

    • melkipershero - May 31, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      Deng isnt worth #1 even in this draft

  4. kanemoney - May 31, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    This season is not ‘god awful’

  5. melkipershero - May 31, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Ive been adamant about Lebron staying in Miami. With Wade obviously not what he was and Bosh being soft I really think Lebron may go back home.


    Possible lottery pick next year.

    The Cavs could be very young. Add in a couple of shooters and there ya go.

  6. sportsnut101 - May 31, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Best bet is to trade the pick. U not going to get much from a team in the top ten cuz the draft has average players

    But for a team like okc who have two picks in first round could trade lamb n their 12 th pick for first n take mclemore or potter

    • melkipershero - May 31, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      #12 and Lamb for #1? Laughable.

    • slowclyde86 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:22 AM

      Lamb is terrible. Don’t look for other teams to amend for presti’s franchise-killing harden trade.

  7. adoombray - May 31, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    “In fact, Grant recommended the surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, that Noel used for his ACL surgery.”

    James Andrews does EVERY star athletes surgery. Adrian Peterson, RG3, Rondo, Barkley… it’s a huge list.

    So, Chad Ford spitballs a question like “well, who’s been around him the most?” while with Calipari, then tells us things we already know like Andrews is famous and the Cavs use statistics (STATISTICS? no way. Nobody uses NUMBERS to evaluate JOB PERFORMANCE! that’s crazy talk). Pre-Draft “news” is like NFL news in May/June : mostly made up stories

  8. hojo20 - May 31, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I fondly remember the days when guys were picked #1 because they played 4 solid years.

    • rajbais - May 31, 2013 at 10:35 PM

      @hojo20 I remember when college players actually had talent and a learning capacity of the game where their individual games would show how educated in the sport they are.

  9. bigtrav425 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    If we draft Noel’s,we are automatically giving up on this yr and should expect another top 3 pick in next yrs draft..I’m not saying we shouldn’t or should because I’m torn a little bit and for the record LBJ is NOT coming back to the Cavs

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