NBA Mock Draft 2013: Predicting the First 10 Picks

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1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (C)

Age: 19 (Freshman)

Height/Weight: 7’0/206 lbs.

Feb 9, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) during the game against the Auburn Tigers in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Auburn 72-62. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in the past three years, the Cavaliers came up with the first pick in the draft. The consensus is that they will spend that pick on this promising young big man from Kentucky in Nerlens Noel. The first thing to talk about with him is his fantastic set of physical attributes. He stands 6’10” out of shoes and has a crazy 7’4″ wingspan. In addition to the ability to run the floor like a guard, he has a powerful leaping ability while remaining extremely nimble. Noel is an extremely good finisher, displays a quick left-drive first step and has a somewhat limited post game.

On the flip side, he is an awful free throw shooter (53 percent). That number suggests that he’ll have to work to add a decent jump shot. Additionally, he doesn’t create his own shot particularly well.

What makes this pick interesting, though, is the future potential for Cleveland. Noel has a busted ACL that will keep him out of his rookie season for an early chunk. That means that they’ll essentially roll out last year’s lineup for that time. There’s a good chance they’ll underperform until Noel hits the floor, and even then he’ll have a learning curve, meaning they could end up with an early pick next year, tons of money in 2014 and three extremely talented young players. The future’s looking bright for the Cavs.