Nerlens Noel could be the No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA draft. (Becky Stein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Teams are growing less weary of Nerlens Noel and his surgically-repaired knee.
Noel was in Cleveland this past week and was told his left knee was in perfect shape, The Courier-Journal reports. The 19-year-old big man has visited with Cleveland, Orlando and Washington, and each team has felt good about the stability of Noel's knee.
From The Courier-Journal:
“The doctor said everything was perfect,” Noel said. “All three teams I’ve been to said it looks 100 percent fine and I’m definitely ahead of schedule. It’s all been positive feedback.”
Noel isn’t jumping yet but said he’s jogging and shooting and starting some “advanced exercises.” He believes he’ll be available to play in November or December. That’s good news for the 6-foot-11 Noel, if Cleveland agrees. Whether he’ll become Kentucky’s second straight No. 1 overall selection and third in four years — joining Anthony Davis (2012) and John Wall (2010) — depends largely on the Cavs’ projection of his prognosis.
Noel has been projected to go to the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick. Cleveland is looking for an intimidating figure in the post, and Noel's skills as a shot blocker could help the team that ranked last in opponents' field-goal percentage this past season.
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While playing for Kentucky in mid-February, Noel tore the ACL in his left knee while facing the Florida Gators. He missed the remainder of the season but still delcared for the NBA draft in April.
After showing up at the NBA Combine at a scrawny 206 pounds, Noel is now reportedly weighing 220 pounds.
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