An interesting perspective today from Chad Ford of ESPN.com. He tells the Courier Journal that the year in school helped Nerlens Noel, even despite his injury. According to Ford, whose main job is to cover the NBA Draft for ESPN, Noel would have been picked somewhere between 6 and 14 in last year’s draft out of high school, if he were able to have entered. But, by coming to school and showcasing his energy and shot blocking on the college level, his stock has risen to where he will almost certainly be a Top 5 pick. Ford notes that while it is true Noel might have been the first pick before the injury (and this is unlikely now), he can’t imagine that he drops below the Top 5 now, meaning the year benefitted his stock, even with the injury.
That is an interesting perspective from Ford. In addition to the benefits of being in college (including those illustrated by the above picture), the year may have also helped his status, even with the injury. I hadn’t thought about that rationale, but it does make sense. Because of where he is still projected (top 5), I think it only makes sense for Nerlens to go pro. But we shall see.
Here’s Chad Ford discussing Noel on ESPN earlier today: