Even before the 2012-13 college basketball season began, experts predicted Kentucky center Nerlens Noel to be a one-and-done top pick this June. That prediction held up throughout the season, despite the devastating ACL injury, and into the off-season. Noel has been locked by projections into the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft almost all the way. Until now. NBADraft.net and Hoops World published updates to its 2013 mock draft, and Noel took a hit on both.
NBADraft.net’s board shows Cleveland selecting Ben McLemore from Kansas with the first overall pick, and Noel going second to the Orlando Magic.
Hoops World’s board shows the Cavaliers drafting Otto Porter out of Georgetown, the Magic drafting McLemore, and Noel dropping to the third pick by the Washington Wizards. Although something tells me a John Wall — Nerlens Noel duo in D.C. wouldn’t be all that bad.
These two updates drop Noel’s once-unanimous No. 1 pick status from these eight major draft boards.
Below is a compilation of eight of the most highly-regarded mock drafts (not including ESPN’s Chad Ford who publishes his predictions in the pay-only ESPN Insider section).
You can find each mock draft here: