Alex Raffalli is a writer for BasketAmericain.com and is the creator of PodCAVS, a podcast about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Henceforth, for your infotainment and on a regular basis, I will be interviewing him in an ongoing never ending interview/conversation about various topics impacting the Cavs.
Nerlens Noel is the concensus top pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, there are concerns about Noel being selected with the first pick, due to a torn ACL in his left knee during his freshman season at the University of Kentucky, the NBA-readiness of his body and his basketball skill level on offense. These are serious concerns.
After the lottery, in which the Cavaliers won the top overall pick, Alex began researching Noel and these issues.
Nerlens Noel can palm two basketballs. He has 7'4" wingspan. That's a loooong wingspan. (Hoop365.com)
1. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO RESEARCH NERLENS NOEL?
Let's see. I have probably spent a total of 30 hours since the Cavs won the Lottery reading everything that has ever been written about Noel and that is available to me on the internet.
That's a lot by the way. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of film available given he only played 765 minutes of basketball in college, but I've watched as much film of him. I don't consider myself a great talent evaluator, so I would say watching the film was more to get confirmation of what I read all over the internet about Noel's impact once he plays in the NBA.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF NERLENS NOEL AS A PLAYER AT THE NBA LEVEL?
I expect Nerlens Noel to be one of the most dominant defensive players of his generation. He has all the tools to be a stopper like the Cavs have never had inside. I'll go as far as saying that Noel could very well end up leading the league in steals AND blocks. He can defend all the way to the three point line. Has mesmerizing quickness off his feet and quick hands as well, and under the patronage of Mike Brown I have no doubt he'll become such a good pick & roll defender that he will make Kyrie Irving look good on defense. Having such a player is a game changer in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the best defenses in the league just because they have Larry Sanders inside. Noel will be even better than Sanders at protecting the rim.
As a defensive anchor, and a guy who will lead by example, Noel will not be a star the way NBA players usually become stars (by scoring an insane amount of points) but will make watching Cavs basketball that much more fun. When it comes to the 2013 Draft, I think Nerlens Noel will be the best player in this class ten years from now. There is sort of an uncertainty around him (only played 27 games, torn ACL, no offensive game at this point) but I think he will overcome that and be remembered as the consensus number one pick he should be today.no comments