Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
These recent images provided by their respective schools or team show prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft. Top row from left are Alex Len, Maryland; C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State; C.J. McCollum, Lehigh; Mitch McGary, Michigan; Ben McLemore, Kansas and Tony Mitchell, North Texas. Bottom from left are Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Nerlens Noel, Kentucky; Lucas Nogueira, Estudiantes; Victor Oladipo, Indiana; Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga and Mason Plumlee, Duke . The Draft takes place June 27, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo)
Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said a number of teams are trying to trade out of the draft and acquire extra picks for next year, which is expected to be a stronger class. But he doesn't know if there will be enough teams interested in being trade partners to get those deals done.
"There are good players in this draft, but right now, there are not impact players. What I mean by that is that there's no one you look at in this draft that within two years will be an All-Star, say like Kyrie Irving was, players like that," said Minnesota Timberwolves president Flip Saunders, referring to the guard Cleveland took with the No. 1 pick in 2011.
"And so in order for you to move up and dilute your talent pool and your roster, you've got to get an impact-type player, and I just don't believe ... there's good players, probably pretty good players in this league, but are they going to be that impact player who's going to be an All-Star or future Hall of Famer? That's what you don't see. And sometimes that's something you don't see for two or three years in a row."
McLemore has in some ways been hurt by healthy, since by being able to work out he's given teams something to nitpick. Noel and Len have been largely free of criticism while sitting on the sideline.
Instead, Len is hoping his first impression of the season is one that holds up, when he had a career-high 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks against Noel in Maryland's loss to Kentucky, right in the building where they will be Thursday.
"I did well against him. So, it's not up to me, it's up to teams," Len said of a team choosing between the two.
Neither player said he knows what the Cavs will do. There has been speculation they are open to dealing the pick, something teams rarely consider in a year with a clear-cut No. 1.
Noel said he had gotten no sense from the Cavs that they had concern about his knee, which could keep him off the court until early in the regular season. And in a draft full of questions, he believes selecting him is the right answer.
"I'm a good teammate, I definitely love to work," Noel said. "I want to get better. I want to be great, I want to reach my potential, be the best player I can be. I definitely do countless hours in the gym and I'm definitely working to get there."