Orlando Magic are taking a close look at Nerlens Noel as possible #1 pick

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Jan 15, 2013; Lexington, KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) reacts after hitting a shot during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated Tennessee 75-65. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the NBA season is over, my beloved Orlando Magic appear to have the best chance at the number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. The big questions is “Could they pick Nerlens Noel?”. I know the ping pong balls have not decided their fate yet, awarding Orland0 the top pick. It’s obvious the Magic will give Noel a good, hard look. Make it happen.


If you’ve watched the pre-injury Noel, you come away with one comparison: He’s a young Dwight Howard.

He’s a skinny 19-year-old who can dominate the game defensively, but he’s a work in progress offensively.

That was the same scouting report we heard on Dwight when he was coming out of high school.

If it weren’t for the knee, Noel would be the top pick, hands down, no questions asked. The Magic would have his name already printed on a jersey if the ping-pong balls bounced their way.

Pairing Noel’s defense and shot-blocking with NikVucevic’s offense and rebounding is a tantalizing scenario for rebuilding Orlando.

Factor in another lottery pick in a potent 2014 class along with Noel, and the Magic might be back in the playoffs sooner than expected if they can land a star free agent or two in the summers of 2015 and/or 2016.

But can the Magic afford to take Noel, gambling that he’ll return to form after surgery?

They have shown a penchant under new general manager Rob Hennigan to be extremely cautious regarding injured players.

Hennigan backed off Andrew Bynum in a possible Howard deal – and he was proved correct as Bynum missed the entire season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Hennigan had reservations about Jared Sullinger in last season’s draft (selecting Andrew Nicholson) – and Sullinger had back surgery after being taken by the Boston Celtics.

High-level athletes have recovered from ACL injuries to never miss a beat.

Besides, Noel would have all next season to rebuild his knee and gain weight, considering the Magic plan to compete for the top lottery pick in what is regarded as a star-studded 2014 draft class.



Of course, the daily story/daily drama will focus on where Andrew Wiggins will go. There is no news, just plenty of speculation. It’s not a big shock that a dude that runs A FSU site thinks Wiggins will go to FSU.


Brendan Bures, the sports editor for the FSView and Florida Flambeau, gives Wiggins a 75 percent chance of coming to Tallahassee, even though the Seminoles are not the basketball powerhouse that the other three finalists are.

“I believe Wiggins chooses Florida State because of his father’s (and mother’s) alumni status, his best friend Xavier Rathan-Mayes (who’s already committed to FSU) is attending, and he wants to be the guy, not just one of many,” Bures said.

The intriguing school in this mix is North Carolina, especially considering Williams has an opening for a wing scorer with Reggie Bullock off to the NBA. UNC’s other three 2013 recruits are either big men (Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks) or a point guard (Nate Britt). And much like Lexington, Chapel Hill would be Wiggins’ best bet at a national title, should that be on his priority list. Teaming with P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo would form a formidable team. And just think of the people he wouldn’t be letting down on this “Andrew Wiggins to UNC” Facebook page.


I’m not trying to predict this one, but from what I’m hearing, Kentucky is still in very good shape.  And that’s all I’m saying.  By the way, isn’t that “Wiggins to UNC” Facebook page a secondary recruiting violation? Hrmmmmmm.


Apr 12, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Patrick Patterson (9) dunks during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT

Miss Patrick Patterson and a bunch of other former Wildcats? Well, a ton of former Cats that are not in the NBA playoffs are holding basketball camps in Lexington and Louisville this summer, so enroll your kids now:


Former Kentucky Wildcats Greats and Current NBA players, Patrick Patterson, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller for basketball instruction and a great time at the inaugural Camp One. “The One and only Camp you need to improve your game!”. Camp One provides a positive, fun, and competitive environment for youth to learn the fundamentals of basketball discipline, teamwork, goal setting, utilization of good habits, and good character development. Camp One believes in building a strong foundation not only for success on the court but off the court as well.


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