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Report: Nerlens Noel probably not slipping past Magic at No. 2

Jun 25, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

Nerlens Noel AP

The NBA Draft is in two days, and we still don’t know who will be the No. 1 pick. Nerlens Noel has been the favorite, but every hour that passes without the Cavaliers tipping their hand, the more likely it seems they’ll pick someone else.

Noel, at least publically, hasn’t fretted about that possibility. Maybe it’s because he knows he wouldn’t fall far.

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Sources close to the Orlando Magic told on Saturday that if the Cavs pass on Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, the Magic are leaning strongly toward selecting him with the No. 2 pick in the draft.

If it weren’t for his knee injury, Noel would definitely be the top pick in this draft. Even with it – assuming the public perception is true, that Noel’s knee is healing just fine and doesn’t seemed destined for more problems – I’d still choose Noel at No. 1. He was just that impressive at Kentucky, showing incredible athleticism, strong defense and an improving offensive game.

For the Magic, Noel would come with an added bonus. They’re not contending next season, anyway, so if he misses part of the season, that would help the Magic’s lottery positioning in 2014. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, seem to have a stronger desire to make the playoffs in 2014.

The Cavaliers will definitely get their No. 1 choice (barring a trade), but the Magic might, too.

  1. bigbenh8tr - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I don’t know about Noel. He is similar to the size of Durant when he came out of college but taller with knee problems. A 7 footer with 2 knee surgeries before the NBA is not a good sign. He also does not have much upside as far as his offensive game. I don’t see him ever having the touch of a Tim Duncan, Anthony Davis, Stoudemire etc. He will be a bench player later in his career who will do well in spurts. Unless he can put on 30 – 40 pounds and not lose my speed or vertical

    • bougin89 - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      I think you have to look at Noel as more of a young Marcus Camby type player. He is more athletic than Camby coming into the NBA(assuming his knee heels) but I would say Noel’s ceiling is something like 11-14 ppg, 12-15 rpg and 2.5-4 bpg. At least that is what you would hope for…

      His floor: think Deandre Jordan.

  2. saint1997 - Jun 25, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    So stupid. You have a double double machine in Vucevic. With a front court that is almost fully established a year into a rebuild process, draft McLemore or Oladipo and trade for Bledsoe to set up the back court. Then with the high 2014 pick maybe then try and fill any holes you want to plug (PF?)

  3. 407magic - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Vucevic is slow on D right right now but you can move him to the PF and Noel at C. They can still trade for Bledsoe and if they can get either the top 2 picks next season which are SF’s the magic could look like this in 2014

    SG… Parker/wiggins. Move down from sf
    SF… Harris. who is a scoring and hustling stud
    PF… Vucevic. the next 20/20 specialist
    C… Noel shot blocker

    Dwight Howard came into the league thin also like 220. He’s a beast at 265 now

  4. sfsugator - Jun 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I think he will slip further than the experts think on ESPN.

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