Should Nerlens Noel Go #1?

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images/ Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

Edited by: Tommy Parrill (@DearTommy)


For the last few weeks, one of the hot topics of discussion in the sports world has been what the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to do with their #1 Overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.  With the draft less than two weeks away, there has been a plethora of rumors released to the public predicting that Nerlens Noel from the University of Kentucky will be headed to Cleveland with that first pick.  If that selection does in fact occur, I will personally throw away all of my Cavalier’s gear and will officially change my allegiance to the Memphis Grizzlies or the Indiana Pacers, not sure on that one yet.

Maybe it’s just me, but just because the “experts” claim that Noel is the best player available, doesn’t mean that he should be the first one off of the board.  Noel comes in at 6’10” and 228 pounds soaking wet.  Even though he is tall, Nerlens is completely undersized to be a big man in the NBA, and to make matters worse; he is coming off of a torn ACL that will have him sidelined until January.  You may be able to get over those downfalls, but my biggest problem with Noel is the fact that he isn’t an elite scorer, which if you are the first player to be taken and looked at as a franchise player, you better be able to do more than just dunk the ball.  He may be very athletic and a premier shot-blocker, but with the injury playing a factor, Noel just isn’t a guy that jumps off of the page for me.

As I look at the potential first round picks, I honestly don’t see that much of a difference in talent of the Top 20 players available.  With that being the case, you don’t want to draft the best available guy, but more on team needs than anything.  Some say that a quality big man is a need for Cleveland, and even though it is, the Cavaliers still have the 19th pick where a guy like Gorgui Dieng from Louisville will be available.  If you ask me, there truly isn’t that much a difference between Dieng and Noel, which still allows the Cavs to go after their biggest need, a wing/forward that can score.  Two names fit that role and they happen to already be predicted to go in the Top 5 picks.  Ben McLemore from Kansas and Otto Porter from Georgetown have the highest potential and value for a role that the Cavaliers need to fill in the worst way.  McLemore comes in at 6’5” and is more of a shooting guard while Porter is a true 6’9” swingman, but what both of them can do very well is find a way to score.  If Cleveland selects either of those fine gentlemen, I will be one happy camper.  Either way, you will get another young talent with great upside that might be enough to bring LeBron back to town in another year, but that’s a discussion for a different day.

There is also a chance that the Cavaliers will decide to trade away the #1 pick for an already proven player in the league.  I would have no problem with that because like I said before, there are no immediate franchise changing players in this draft.  Rumors have floated around about a possible trade with Indiana for Danny Granger and even more recently, one with the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.  If Cleveland can trade the #1 pick in a mediocre draft for one of the leagues rising stars in Kevin Love, they better make it happen!


Either way you look at it, the Cavaliers have a lot of options on their plate.  A scenario with Love or Porter would make the most since, but if they do decide to draft Noel with the #1 pick, Cleveland can kiss my fandom GOOD BYE!