There are only four days left until the NBA draft, but there is still much uncertainty at the top of the draft.
Unlike last year, when the whole world knew that the New Orleans Hornets were taking Anthony Davis, this year, nobody, perhaps not even the Cavaliers front office, know for sure yet who they are taking.
The first names in the mix of the No.1 overall pick were Nerlens Noel and Otto Porter. Noel has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft, but also has a high bust potential. Porter is a smart all-around small forward that fills a need for the Cavs.
Other names, such as Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo, and Anthony Bennett were rumored to be in the mix, but these players are long shots to be taken No.1.
Alex Len emerged as a serious candidate for the Cavs pick only just recently. He was considered a lottery pick for most of the year, so by no means did he come out of nowhere. Scouts have been extremely high on his skills and polish on the offensive end of the floor. Defensively, he's no slouch either. He has good size and protects the rim well.
Is he worthy of a No.1 pick over Noel?
Noel is by no means a sure thing. At only 19 years old, he is already a physical specimen. He has great size, length, frame, and athletic ability. His defensive abilities rivals those of last year's No.1 pick, Anthony Davis. His offensive game, however, is not close to Davis' at the time of the draft. Noel is raw, and a project, but has potential to be a game-changer in the middle.
Len, though not the athletic freak Noel is, has decent physical tools too. He is mobile, runs and jumps well, and has good size. Like many bigs coming into the NBA, he needs to add more bulk to his frame; unlike a lot of young bigs, however, Len has a great basketball IQ. He is efficient and smart, can finish with either hand, and picks his spots and rarely forces.
Both players are coming off injuries: Noel has an ACL tear, and Len has stress fractures in his foot. Len would almost definitely be ready by the start of the season, while Noel's timetable is still clouded. Their availability this season, however, should not have a huge impact on where they are drafted; a year is not nearly as important as the next 15 years their franchises are hoping they would anchor.
Although lacking elite superstar talent, this draft is shaping up to be very interesting at the top. What the Cavs decide to do with their pick will affect how the rest of the draft shapes up.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are on the clock. There's no LeBron James this time, but Kyrie Irving's new running mate can prove to be very valuable to the franchise too.