The NBA draft takes place on Thursday night and leading up to the event, you have probably heard about players such as Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, who was thought to be the consensus No. 1 pick despite suffering an ACL team during the regular season (effectively dooming Kentucky’s season), Indiana’s Victor Olidipo and Kansas’ Ben McLemore. The dark horse for the No. 1 pick on the betting lines was thought to be Georgetown’s Otto Porter, but now there is a new candidate for Cleveland, who are in possession of the top pick.
Alex Len of Maryland has seen his stock rise dramatically and you have to think that some of the concern surrounding Noel’s knee has aided the Terrapins’ center. Len improved tenfold in his sophomore year, averaging 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, and while those numbers don’t look that impressive, he was hampered by an incredibly bad set of guards at Maryland who struggled to get him the ball. He did shot 53.4% from the field, so he did well with the opportunities he was presented with.
He has been a stud in workouts as well as Len moves very well for a man that is 7’1”, 255 pounds, surprising some scouts with how effortlessly he gets up and down the floor. Len is solid fundamentally and his upside is huge. There are many that think he has taken Noel’s place as the top player in the draft and while he may not have Noel’s athleticism, there are going to be questions about whether Noel has the same explosiveness after hurting his knee. Len also has his own medical issues with his ankle, so that is something to watch, and he is also raw on the offensive end, but most big men his age are. Keep an eye out for Alex Len.