Center | Kentucky | 19 years old
Height: 6'11 - Weight: 206 lbs
10.5 PTS - 9.5 REB - 4.4 BLK - 2.1 STL
Defensive Impact: Nerlens Noel's ability to change a game on the defensive side of the ball is what drives his potential as an NBA prospect. Before tearing his ACL, Noel was leading the country in shot-blocking at 4.4 a game. His instincts are off the charts, and when you pair them with a 6'11" body and a 7'3.5" wingspan, you get one of the toughest rim security guards to get past. Even if Noel's offensive game never comes around, Noel's defensive impact could be worthy of the pick.
Potential Centerpiece: It's not easy finding a reliable starting center. They're tough to come by. Nerlens Noel has the chance to be one of them. If everything works out with regard to his knee and the physical transition, Noel could end up being a centerpiece of the lineup. Given his upside as a prospect, he's got the chance to be one of Cleveland's long-term building blocks and a member of its core foundation.
No Need To Rush: How about this for a game plan: Cleveland selects Nerlens Noel at No. 1 and allows him to rest, rehab, add strength and develop. Worst comes to worst, the Cavaliers stink for one more season. But this time, there's a huge reward waiting in the 2014 draft. Actually, there's a couple of huge rewards. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are all incoming freshman with superstar upsides. Given Dan Gilbert's son's track record, the Cavs might want to test their luck with the lottery one last time. How about a lineup in 2014-15 that starts Kyrie Irving in his prime, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson and a stronger and healthier Nerlens Noel? Now that's a lineup Cleveland would be proud of. And all it would take is one more year of patience.