On today’s radio show, Matt spoke to ESPN radio host Ryen Russillo, who expanded on his comments during a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, in which he raised concerns about Nerlens Noel’s “handlers” and how they’re negatively impacting his draft stock. Russillo said that Nerlens’ entourage goes back to before his time at Kentucky, and teams are worried about the longterm impact they may have on the talented shot blocker. Along with uncertainty about his injury, this is causing teams to think twice about drafting him in the top three.
But, when it comes down to his game, Nerlens is better than the field, according to Sports Illustrated’s Andy Glockner. Glockner compared Noel to the rest of the NBA Draft field in terms of talent, immediate impact, longterm impact, and trade possibilities. Glockner said that Noel may not be the most complete player in the draft, but his shot-blocking abilities make that category a push. Obviously, since he’s injured, he won’t have an immediate impact on whatever team chooses him, but in the longterm, Glockner says he can become a “solid rebounder who can block several shots a night while being a general deterrent around the rim,” which, in a weak draft, is worthy of the number one selection. And while trade rumors run rampant, they are just that right now–rumors. Glockner feels that Noel’s potential and the lack of another standout player in the draft will ensure that he goes number one next Thursday:
Noel’s situation is a mix of two old adages – timing is everything and good things happen to those who wait. Noel mixes enough raw upside with enough added value in terms of next year’s draft position to make it worthwhile to take on the moderate risk he poses at this stage of his career. It will be interesting to see if anything happens between now and late June to change this picture, but as of now, Noel is the choice.
Now, just surround yourself with the right people, big guy.