Nerlens Noel Interviews With 6 Teams; Takes Heat for Weight
Projected No. 1 overall pick Nerlens Noel weighed in at 206 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and immediately took some heat as a result.
Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, weighed 222 pounds at the combine and the ESPNU crew wonders how Noel will be able to post up and defend NBA big men at that weight.
Can his frame handle much more weight?
“I’m 206, I can post up,” Fran Fraschilla said on ESPNU, adding that he didn’t think Noel is the consensus No. 1 pick.
“I talked to a number of NBA general managers last night who echoed Fran’s concerns about this,” Chad Ford said. “206, even at the power forward position if you project him, that’s really light.”
One Western Conference GM said Noel’s weight wasn’t an issue, though.
“He’ll get stronger but his game is based on fast-twitch, quickness, mobility and agility,” the GM told SNY.tv.
The former Kentucky freshman did measure 6-10 in socks and 6-11 1/2 in shoes with a 9-2 wingspan, all of which are bigger than Davis.
Noel told Andy Katz he interviewed Thursday with six teams — Boston, Orlando, Charlotte, Phoenix, New Orleans and Cleveland.
He said he’s “well ahead of schedule” on his return from a left ACL injury.
“They say it’s still a learning process for this injury but the 6-8 month point would be around November/December,” said Noel, who led the nation with 4.4 blocks per game to go with 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Noel is at the eight-and-a-half-week point of his injury and said he’s working out twice a day in Birmingham, Ala., to get back.
“Through this injury process,” he said, “I’m just going to prepare my body and prepare my mind for what the NBA holds for me and I think I’ll definitely do well in coming back from this and I’ll have all my skills polished up.”
Katz reported on three injured players. Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng has a boot on his right ankle but is hopeful he can work out for some teams in the coming weeks. He interviewed with six teams…Maryland’s Alex Lex has a stress fracture in his left shin and will talk to 15 teams in Chicago.He hopes to be ready to work out in August….Jamaal Franklin of San Diego State has a boot on his left ankle and hopes to work out in June.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.