Everyone knows you aren’t supposed to compare Nerlens Noel and Anthony Davis, but they might have one thing in common.
They could both be #1 draft picks.
SI.com has released their 2013 NBA Draft Board and Nerlens is #1.
Multiple NBA executives weighed in on the UK freshman here and in last week’s issue of Sports Illustrated (buy the magazine, cheapskates). Noel’s offense is a work in progress — he is limited to dunks and put-backs — but execs love his energy and defensive instincts. As a passer, Noel has shown flashes of an ability to see the floor and dish out of the high post, a skill perfected and used frequently by the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and, to a lesser extent, the Pacers’ Roy Hibbert.
Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress are also in the top 10, ranked #8 and #9 respectively.
Goodwin continues to be miscast as a featured ball handler, though the expected return of Ryan Harrow this week should relieve the lanky combo guard of some of the responsibility. But Goodwin has begun to shine: His 22-point, nine-rebound, nine-assist effort against Long Island last week showcased a complete game. “I see a lot of Jamal Crawford in him,” a scout said.
Poythress continues to score — he has had four straight 20-plus point games — but not in the ways scouts are looking for. “I need to see a three-point shot,” a Western Conference exec said of Poythress, who has attempted just two threes this season. “He’s way too small to be a power forward at this [NBA] level. He needs to develop small-forward skills or else he will be a poor man’s Patrick Patterson.”