John Calipari chatted with the Cleveland Plain Dealer last night about Nerlens Noel and what the Cavs will be getting if they draft him No. 1. Of course, Cal encouraged the Cavs to draft Nerlens first overall, but he also spoke highly of the Cavs GM and the job he’s done in Cleveland:
“They haven’t made mistakes,” Calipari said in a telephone interview on Wednesday, one day after the Cavs won the lottery to earn the No. 1 pick for the second time in three years. “If they pick him, in all likelihood, history tells you something: It’s not a mistake, which means it’s good for my kid.
“Chris Grant has been in our building more than any other GM. That’s no disrespect to any other GM. That’s just a fact. He and his staff are very thorough in what they’ve done. That’s why I say I hope he gets drafted by them.”
Cal was also asked about how Nerlens compares to Anthony Davis:
Asked to compare Noel and Davis, Calipari said, ”They’re just different. Anthony had more guard skills than Nerlens would have. Their shot blocking is about the same. Nerlens is more of a four/five, where Anthony could play some three. Nerlens could guard a three, but he’s not going to play that position. Anthony, if he had to, could play the three.”
And the interview wasn’t complete until he made his push for Nerlens to go No. 1:
“My hope is they take Nerlens because they do their research and say, ‘We need that shot blocker behind what we have. … We know he’s going to gain 40 pounds. We know the trajectory.’ They know where he was at the beginning of the year and they know how much he improved because they were here. They saw it. I don’t have to explain anything to Chris.”
You can read more from Cal’s conversation with the newspaper here.