Posted April 15, 2013

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel declares for NBA draft

2013 NBA draft, Ben Golliver, Nerlens Noel
Nerlens Noel declared for NBA draft 2013 on Monday

Nerlens Noel has declared for the draft. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel declared for the NBA draft on Monday.

“I have loved my time at Kentucky, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Noel said in a prepared statement. “I’ve learned so much here at UK and am thankful for Coach [John] Calipari, the staff and my teammates for all of their support.”

SI.com’s Chris Mannix has Noel ranked No. 1 on his latest Big Board.

I’m not sure whether it speaks to the weakness at the top of the draft or the potential of Noel, but multiple general managers of teams with lottery picks say that if they land at No. 1, Noel is the pick. “He is not Anthony Davis,” said an Eastern Conference executive. “Davis is better. But he [Noel] is a high-energy center who will rebound and block shots. He’s the guy.”

Noel, 19, averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks for the Wildcats this season, but suffered a season-ending knee injury in February. He shot 59 percent from the field for the season and earned first-team All-SEC and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

A Massaschusetts native, Noel is listed at 6-foot-10 and 228 pounds. He ranks No. 1 on DraftExpress.com’s top 100 and No. 1 on Chad Ford’s top 100 at ESPN Insider.

Even though his rehabilitation could cost him months of the 2013-14 season, Noel’s length and defensive instincts continue to make him the consensus favorite to become the No. 1 overall pick on June 27. If he is selected No. 1 overall, he would join John Wall in 2010 and Anthony Davis in 2012 as the third Kentucky player in four years to be selected No. 1 overall.

9 comments
Herzwords
Herzwords

Interesting that people here are talking about what "They" would want. This kid has a chance to make enough to set him and his family for life. Why not do it? There are plenty of college graduates who are struggling to find work these days. This kid has a job waiting for him and he has every right to take it.

dt
dt

The NBA badly needs to pass a rule that players are only eligible for the draft after 3 completed years of COLLEGE with passing grades.  The benefits of that are A) giving these talented players more time to develop their game so they can actually play in the NBA, and B) prepare them for a life without basketball should they become busts. 

NoseTackle66
NoseTackle66

6'10" 228lbs  10.5ppg  9.5rpg  4.4bpg  That is a #1 Pick???  So limited offensively he won't score 10ppg in the NBA!!!  The only thing that stands out is blocks per game.  It is a shame that the NBA would even THINK about drafting this kid!!!  A disservice not only to Noel, but also a disservice to the fans!!!  It is why watching NBA basketball is a CHORE.  Seems most players are one tool guys.  It also has diluted the College game the NBA's FREE farm system.  One of the great things about the College game was hearing your school picked up that power forward & shooting guard to go with the Soph. center & point guard already there.  The lean years are coming to an end.  You are going to watch these four grow together and when they are Jrs/Sophs & Srs/Jrs they will make deep runs in the Tournament!  Maybe even a National Championship, gasp!!!  Now, 6'10" 228lbs just barely double figures scoring, NOT EVEN double figures rebounding leaves as a #1 overall pick???  The game is going to hell in a hand basket!!!  The time is yours.

shamrockpapa
shamrockpapa

Well he has the hair cut for it, not sure of his ability...

Tommy K
Tommy K

6'10 and 228? doesn't stand a chance unless he can turn into a Bosh type player. Needs a weight gain program stat

joshua33nelson
joshua33nelson

Centers are a thing of the past in the NBA.  Pass.

BrianE
BrianE

His hair is a top 10 pick fo sho!

I guess he really doesn't want to sit in a classroom and learn stuff.

muser
muser

A Chris Washburn level bust in the making...

Herzwords
Herzwords

@BrianE Why would he want to sit in a classroom when he could play in the NBA and make millions? Pretty sure most college kids would take that option.