NBA Draft News and Notes: Could Alex Len go #1?

Next Thursday, NBA bottom dwellers will finally get the chance to add some fresh talent to their roster and the teams that fell out of the postseason earlier than desired will have the chance to find a missing piece of the puzzle. Leading up to the draft there is plenty of buzz, and here is the latest being reported from around the league:

  • The Cavs look like they will select Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel with the #1 overall pick, however, there are definitely shopping the pick. DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged 17.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg last season for the Sacramento Kings, is the biggest name being mentioned in connection with a possible trade. This draft is considered one of the worst at the top in a number of years.
  • If Cleveland cannot trade the pick, their prime option outside of Noel could be Otto Porter. The former Georgetown catalyst is unlikely to slip past the top three with each of those franchises being high on the 6'9" Hoya. In fact, Porter is declining to work out with any team outside of those three, convinced that his status amongst that group is secure.
  • A wilder scenario being reported regarding Cleveland is that Maryland's Alex Len could be the target. There is no doubt that the seven footer is likely the better fit to go alongside Tristan Thompson in the front court and compliment back court scorers Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Although most see Len as a lottery pick, speculation of the offensively limited prospect at #1 shows the weakness of this draft and would be a real surprise from the Cavs.
  • At #2, the Orlando Magic are also reportedly actively looking for a trading partner with some speculating the Thunder, in need of a guard like Ben McLemore, could be a possibility. If the Magic keep the pick, Porter, Noel, McLemore, or even Trey Burke, would be the top targets.
  • Victor Oladipo, perhaps one of the fastest rising players leading up to the draft, has refused to work out for the Wizards. The current back court tandem of John Wall and Bradley Beal as well as the general lack of optimism about Washington's chances for improvement, are likely the reasons why the former Indiana star wants to steer clear of the franchise.
  • The biggest college star in this year's draft, Michigan's Trey Burke, is hearing he could land anywhere from 2-6 with the Magic and the New Orleans Pelicans being the most likely destinations. A stellar tournament and solid workouts greatly improved his draft status.
  • Former Pittsburgh center Steven Adams has shot up draft boards despite averaging only 7.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg this past season. Perhaps his ceiling, yet still a realistic spot, could be #5 to the Phoenix Suns who are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history. 
  • The Sacramento Kings, who hired Pete D'Alessandro from the Denver Nuggets as their new GM Monday, remain a mystery, but some reports are beginning to link UNLV's Anthony Bennett as an ideal option for the franchise, particularly if they opt to keep Cousins.
  • A modest crop of international prospects took a hit Monday when Croatian Dario Saric, seen by many as the top foreign prospect in the draft, withdrew his name to wait another year. He had been linked to the Mavericks.
  • Chris Bosh is widely being viewed as on the trading block although teams would certainly have to package picks in order to get him from the Heat in this lackluster draft class.

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