NBA draft wide open


Less than a week after Miami Heat triumphed in this year's NBA championship, the 2013/14 draft is astonishingly just three days away. 

Even more astonishingly, in an age where such things are usually decided months in advance, the first four draft picks are still surrounded by uncertainty. 

Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Alex Len are likely to be the first to go, but in what order remains to be seen. 

The first four picks will be made by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats. 

There have been indications in the press that the Cavaliers will use the first selection on Maryland centre Len, but an ankle problem might yet put the Cleveland side off the 20-year-old Ukrainian. The injury has sidelined Len for team auditions and will also prevent him taking part in summer league. 

However, he is believed to be the best centre in the draft by some margin, and he was the standout player for the Ukraine national team at the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship.

Noel could well prove an alternate first pick, but he too has been troubled by injury, and underwent knee surgery in March. 

The 19-year-old from Massachusetts is of Haitian decent, and was the SEC Rookie of the Year in 2013 playing out of Kentucky. A power forward standing at a huge 6ft11, he was rated as the number one player in his 2012 high school class by ESPN. 

McLemore seems set to join the Magic as number two draft pick, due to Orlando's desperate need for a point guard. The franchise have Arron Affalo at shooting guard, but McLemore is regarded as the second-best prospect on the board. Experts suggest: "take him, gather his assets and make a trade later."

The Missouri born 20-year-old played for Kansas at college and was named a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the most outstanding college basketball players.

Porter is meanwhile coming off a season as the Big East Player of the Year, an accolade that moved the versatile small forward into the top four draft picks. He can do a lot of things well, teams won't see a star, but they will see a very underrated player who can do a good job.

The 20-year-old spent his college career with Georgetown, averaging 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.     


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