Well this is starting to get awkward. For about 6 months, Nerlens Noel was a lock to be the number 1 overall pick. Then all of a sudden he wasn’t. Then some morons were saying his problems were bigger than Alex Len (who wrote that garbage?). Then there were rumors that he could slip all the way to Phoenix at No. 5. Now? Now we should all chill out, apparently. All those reports of an inevitable draft day slide may have been a bit premature.
Per Chad Ford, sources close to the Orlando Magic have indicated that they plan to take Noel at No. 2 if he’s available. Things could obviously change, but the source was pretty matter-of-fact in their endorsement of Nerlens, telling ESPN: “If the draft was held today, Noel would be our first choice.” Ford also believes that the big man is still in play for Cleveland at No. 1, but should the Cavs pass him over, the Magic will be ready and willing to embrace the flat top.
More from Ford:
The Magic, according to sources, scouted Noel heavily during the season and have been doing exhaustive background work on Noel the past few months. The team believes that, with patience, Noel should end up being the best player in the draft.
Noel certainly fits a need for the Magic. Despite the strong play of second-year center Nikola Vucevic, the Magic ranked 24th in the NBA in blocked shots and 25th in defensive efficiency. Noel made a visit to the Magic on June 2 and sources said he wowed everyone despite the fact that he’s still months away from playing basketball because of a torn ACL.
So, there you have it– The latest hot take from the rumor mill has Nerlens going no later than No. 2 overall to the Orlando Magic. I hear Space Mountain is fun?