It is rare that a player considered a sure bet to be a Top 3 pick in the NBA draft has some question about whether he will leave school or return—take the money, young man. There was, though, the possibility that Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel would go back, only because he suffered a torn ACL that ended his season after 24 games. The chance was slim, though, and on Monday that chance moved to none, as Noel officially announced his intent to enter the NBA next year.
Where does Noel wind up? Well, it could well be No. 1, injury and all. We caught up with an NBA scouting director to discuss Noel’s future.
On whether Noel should still be considered the No. 1 pick: “He is the best player in the draft. I think that was obvious over the course of the year, he is the guy who is going to have the most impact in the NBA. He can be a monster on the defensive end. He is athletic and he has the instincts and a huge wingspan. He gets the blocked shots, and he is very good at that, but I like the way he plays his man, too, he is not just a help guy who swats shots away. He can play straight up, too. There is no other player who has a known NBA-level skill like that in this draft.”