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Report: Alex Len ‘likely’ choice for Cavaliers at No. 1

Jun 17, 2013, 4:34 PM EDT

This is the time of year when teams and agents create smokescreens so thick, firefighters can’t get through them. So, approach any report like this with a healthy dose of skepticism. But also consider that a beat writer for a major newspaper was confident enough to report it. There’s a fine line, and from the outside, it’s difficult to see through the haze and determine on which side each report falls.

Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Who might want the world to believe Len will go No. 1? Well, Len and his agent. Of course, what they want and the truth could coincide.

The Cavaliers probably don’t have as much incentive to leak their leaning until they’re certain of their choice, unless they’re just trying to convince other teams to trade for the pick. If Len is the bait Cleveland is dangling to persuade teams to trade up, that’s fairly surprising. I’d figure other teams would be much more likely to move up if they believed Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore or Otto Porter wouldn’t be available lower.

Len is a good athlete with good size, and he’s pretty skilled, even if still a bit unrefined. He also had surgery in early May and can’t work out for teams, so I’m not sure why his stock has risen so rapidly since. To me, it seems like teams are too swayed by the flaws they see in players who can work out as Len holds steady without having to prove himself. The very-credible Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress has Len atop his draft board, though, so it’s tough to argue Len would be a total reach at No. 1.

The NBA Draft is 10 days away, and we often know the No. 1 pick by this point. Maybe this year it remains a mystery until Cleveland (or another team) actually makes the pick, but we could know much sooner whether Smith is on the right track.

  1. ulaanbaatarscot - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Len is a better prospect than Noel in this years draft. He dominated Noel when Maryland played Kentucky before Noel got injured. However , I still think Noel will end up going first.

    • pudgalvin - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      The game you refer to was also Noel’s first college game, it was also a game Maryland lost. Len didn’t manage to hit double digits in scoring in nearly half of his teams games, and had less than six rebounds in about a 1/3rd of them. He didn’t have a lot of help, but these days, a big man worth the top pick in the draft with a year of college experience under his belt should have more of an impact on his team than Len did.

      • cmehustle - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        The reason Len did not have more of an impact relates directlty to his teammates not getting him the ball. In a lot of these cases, scouts preview what they see a player do, with what they think he can get done in the NBA. Your college stats dont neccesarily translate over to the NBA so you have to project. I’ve seen more than one scouting service have Len at the top of their board over Noel.

      • pudgalvin - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        I’ve got no dog in this race (is Brandon Paul gonna be any good? No? Damn.), but rebounds have nothing to do with your teammates. I’m no college scout but I thought for his size, his production could have been more consistent. But hey, there were tons of questions about Drummond last year and he looks pretty good, so what do I know?

      • spthegr8 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        If that BIG STIFF is the number 1 pick in the draft. Then it speaks VOLUME’S of how bad this draft is gonna SUCK!!!

    • llfreedman - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      what pudgalvin said, and not to mention that was Len’s second year in college…

  2. cfutch - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM


  3. detroitrollin22 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    He’d make more sense for the Cavs then Noel would. More offensive potential, he’s bigger and stronger, and fits a need for the team. It’s just too bad he’ll have to get embarrassed multiple times a year when Andre Drummond dunks all over him.

    The Pistons suck, but Drummond is a MONSTER!!!!!!!!!

  4. jamieaadams - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I don’t think I truly realized how weak this draft was until I read this article.

    • mactre330 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      If Len gets picked number 1 I will give up on the Cavs he can only use one shoulder and is horrible when defenders make him go to his weak side it’s night and day in the NBA he’ll be a 7 foot bum. We already fired Scott who had no chance his first year and the second year with Andy hurt and Kyrie out didn’t really have a chance. Mike Brown I have to question his greatness as a coach with Lebron being here with a healthy Andy. I hope it’s a smoke screen I hope we get Otto Porter and fill a position of need he’s ready to play now. Ben MacLemore is a spot up shooter that can jump out the gym his defense is bad he has no handles and he’s a SG name one great shooting guard unable to break down defenders and unable to shoot of the dribble that equals bench player to me. I like Noel for a project pick just scared of his weight he would be a nice 4 if his developers a jumper. I do like Anthony Bennett he reminds me of Grandmama Larry Johnson but again we need a 3 I don’t think he can guard the 3. Gee is way too inconsistent Otto Porter will make this team better right now.

  5. jthammerstix - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Please GOD cavs….don’t take nerlens. anyone but him!!!

    • mactre330 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      Len would be worse

  6. gr3710 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    this draft doesn’t lack talent imo. but Len as #1? ouch

  7. ppdoc13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Potential squared. But has not translated on court. Should have stayed in school one more year

  8. jrebar88 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Tyler Zeller dominated that scrub when they played against each other. So the Cavs want to downgrade at the center position?

  9. tcclark - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    Remember the days when teams drafting big men had more to look at than potential. Those were the days when kids were smart enough to stay in school. Guys like Olajuwon, Daugherty, Robinson, and Ewing were dominate players in college and their games translated to the NBA. They were drafted in consecutive years. Today, it’s a crap shoot. Guys like Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Alex Len, Nerlans Noel, are all hit or miss. Some of the best big men in the league like Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Demarcus Cousins have all been accused of being immature. Between the three of them they have one year of college. College isn’t just for developing skill, it’s about growing up and learning to take care of yourself – learning responsibility. These kids get big paychecks and they don’t have to work on their games. They get by on dominant physical size and ability and not refined NBA skill.Big Men need time to grow. They need to learn to be dominant players and they learn that in college. Roy Hibbert and Tim Duncan were the two best big men in the playoffs this year and they have 8 years of college and two degrees between the two of them.

    The NBA needs to extend the age limit two more years. Make kids spend three years in college. Then we’ll have drafts that are deeper and contain less busts. Teams will know what they’re getting for the most part. We won’t have players who averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game competing with players who averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game to be the 1st overall pick. The NBA needs players with skill, not just talent.

  10. trevor123698 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Anyone considering Noel is crazy. his knee will not hold up

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:01 AM

      are you a Doctor?

      • trevor123698 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        I’ve listened to “Dead Athletes don’t lie” enough times to know it won’t happen. Nerlens Noel has million dollar doctors working on him and still does not know that there is ways your body can strengthen ligaments, tendons, and cartilage through supplementation of gelatin and a liquid calcium supplement known as “Osteo FX”. You can believe whatever you want. I know these things and have personal experience with healing a rickety, broken athletic body. DEAD DOCTORS DONT LIE and on average they live to 58. Doctors know absolutely nothing about health, healing, or the repair of any single part of your body. They make a living selling you drugs.

        Google this and shut up: DEAD ATHLETES DONT LIE

      • trevor123698 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        heres the version with theo ratliff in which theo tells how supplements extended his career by about 80 million dollars in contracts and 10 years in time

  11. sportsnut101 - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    They need potter who’s ready to play. Perfect size n a need for them. Why take Len who would need 3 yrs prolly to just to be decent. By that time might be to late.

    Cavs be smart take potter or trade the pick for next yr lottery pick for the bobcats/hornets

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