The NBA Draft is 10 days away and suddenly, there’s a bit of mystery surrounding what the Cleveland Cavaliers will do with the No. 1 pick. For weeks or perhaps months, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, who is best described as a poor man’s Anthony Davis, was widely considered the No. 1 pick.
But is his posse scaring teams off? Bill Simmons and ESPN radio host Ryen Russillo discussed this on a podcast, and broke the news that Noel’s posse blew off Worldwide Wes (!) and other agents recently, and it appears some teams are cooling on Noel. Russillo goes as far as saying the Wizards would not draft Noel 3rd if he’s still on the board.
As excerpted by Kentucky Sports Radio:
The major red flag concerning Nerlens may be the people he’s surrounding himself with. Simmons and Russillo discussed Nerlens’ “handlers,” and how they are making things difficult for teams to get information about him. Apparently, it is very hard to get in touch with Noel, who just hired agents on Thursday. Russillo says that Worldwide Wes AND Lebron James’ agent Rich Paul tried to get in touch with Nerlens, but Nerlens’ crew “blew them off.” They also blew off one agent six times in a row before finally meeting with him. Russillo calls the entourage “epic bad news men”
So Noel weighs what most point guards do, is coming off a knee injury, and doesn’t have one discernible offensive move? Sounds like he’s getting the same type of terrible advice Taylor Kitsch got after leaving Friday Night Lights. At least Kitsch could blame it on his agent! Noel can only blame his friends.
This makes Cleveland’s decision with the #1 pick that much more fun. Do the Cavs not worry about the posse and the injury and draft him anyway, thinking they can’t make the playoffs in 2014 regardless of whom they select? Trading down seems unlikely given the weak talent in this draft. The only names that really make sense to me 1st overall are Oladipo, McLemore, Otto Porter and … hey, what about my man Alex Len from Maryland? Len recently compared himself to a former Cavaliers center, which may or may not be a good thing. The Cavs already have Irving and Waiters … could they take Otto Porter 1st overall, or draft the less bouncy rim protector with significantly more upside in his offensive game?