If not for a torn ACL, there’d probably be few questions about Nerlens Noel’s NBA potential.
With the exception of a 206 lbs. frame, the 7-foot center has all the physical traits of a successful big man in the making. Before the injury, he was incredibly athletic, ran the floor exceptionally well and was quick and nimble for a player his size. He used his physical gifts to change the game on the defensive end, where he averaged 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals in 31.9 minutes per contest at Kentucky this year.
How confident is Noel that he’ll still be the player he was before the injury? This is what he told media at last month’s NBA Draft Combine.
I’m 100 percent confident, not just gaining what I had but definitely being stronger, coming back better. Through this period of time where I won’t be playing basketball, I’ll just be working on a lot of things that I needed to polish when I wasn’t playing. So I think it’s gonna help me really in the long run.
Noel would be a nice fit alongside fellow Kentucky alum DeMarcus Cousins. His shot-blocking ability, length, and overall defensive prowess would compliment Cousins’ on the Kings’ frontline. But at this point, there are no indications that Noel is sliding down NBA draft boards. However, stocks have fallen before – just ask Thomas Robinson.
Mike Schmitz, an assistant video coordinator for the D-League’s Bakersfield Jam and former contributor to TrueHoop Network affiliate Valley of the Suns, has been putting together video scouting reports of prospects for Draft Express the last two years. Get to know more about Noel in Schmitz’s breakdown below.