Welcome to pre-draft workout season, when NBA teams fall in and out of love with players they have scouted extensively for a year or more. When the Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft, it was widely accepted that they would draft Kentucky center Nerlens Noel with the top pick.
The flat-topped defensive monster entices pro scouts with his athletic ability despite being raw and coming off a major knee surgery.
That second detail may have made some teams less high on the 19-year-old Everett, Mass., native than others. A few doctors reportedly are concerned about Noel’s drop in weight to a svelte 206 pounds at the draft combine, while worrying his recovery from ACL injury may not go as smoothly as expected. Multiple media reports have said Noel will miss at least the first two months of the 2013-14 season.