In just the few times (less than 5) I watched Maryland played, Len never stood out to me. When I did watch them he didn't seem to get a lot of playing time either so I have not seen him much. I think there is nothing worse than a soft big man, and that was the label I placed upon him in my short time viewing him.
However, the more and more I watch him in highlights and recent videos I have changed my mind on him. He obviously has great size and length, but I didn't realize how athletic he was. He is a better rebounder and defender than what I had originally thought also. Really good feet and quickness for someone 7'1 that should allow him to slide and rotate. With his potential to be a really good player on both ends of the floor, I am moving him up my list as the best big in the draft over Noel. Noel's lack of bulk, offensive ineptitude, and health concerns are all areas where Len exceeds him (the first 2 mainly). Rumor on twitter via @NBARUMORS stated Cavs are considering Len with first pick. My recent change of mind agrees and would take him at the top spot. An improved, more fluid, version of Brook Lopez is what I imagine when looking for a comparison.
If you disagree, why Noel over Len as first big off the board, if not #1?
I don't see him being special or an all-star, so I wouldn't take him 1st, top 3, or top 5, but with his size and mobility, I think he could develop into a solid center in time. I think he could be a guy who gets about 10 ppg and 10 rpg. Like, I said, don't think he'll be a standout or all-star, but a nice solid player who will contribute. However, I think it will take him a few years before we see him make an impact, because, most big-men take longer to develop and produce in the NBA.
len presents a lot of good things in his game. he has legit size and length, if Andrew bogut could go number 1 a few years back, why not len this year. also he is a young sophomore, born in early 93, and he has some experience playing overseas as well. this year is so weak up top that len is the one that's stands out to me when being deserving of the top pick. he fills one of the cavs big needs, and I think he will be better than otto porter.
I disagree with you. The fact that you weren't impressed by watching him live means a lot. Highlight reels just display a player's flashiness rather than their overall game play.
Also, to put him over Noel is a mistake. While Noel has had his health issues, his play for Kentucky was fabulous. Although Kentucky never looked like they were national contenders with Noel, without him they were a below well below average SEC team.
I still would draft Zeller over Len if my team needed a center. I think Zellers more NBA-ready than Len plus he's a better overall athlete. I wouldnt draft him #1, but if youre Charlotte at #4 he would be my choice. His offensive game would be a great compliment up front with the defensive minded Biyombo.
I could see len going #1. I watched 2 games for about 10 minutes each. The first game he didn't do anything. They weren't even passing to him. He looked like some role player out there because he was tall. But then the second game he went off and dominated, it might have been vs duke??, not sure but it was a game where a lot of sites started talking about him. He looked like a top pick candidate. I like the fact he is more of a legit big man with less injury issues then Noel. I have it len 1 and Noel 2 right now in my mock with Bennett going 3 mclemore 4 and oladipo 5.
I also have Len at 1 and Noel at 2. An inside scorer with size would open up the floor for Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
The Cavs have also had success with a solid center like Big Z.
Before that they had Brad Daugherty who played well for years and had a few all-star games. Ironically he was also the top pick
in a strange draft year (1986) that had Len Bias (wow, a Maryland guy named Len) and some busts at the top but some good players late
like Dennis Rodman.
Len really doesn't scream future All-Star to me, but he could make a team or two. I do think he'll be a starter for most of his career and a solid guy who does have the "potential" to be an All-Star. What makes him different than most 7 footers these days is that he has a post game, a nice touch on some mature low post moves, including a fadeaway and it isn't an either or situation when it comes to physical tools or skill because he's got a 7'4'' wingspan and has good open court speed.
I honestly don't think he goes 1 or 2, but I think Washington, Charlotte and Pheonix will all consider him pretty strongly and I'm kind of thinking he's pretty solid in that 3-6 range. What he gives you is a solid 7 footer who man handled Noel and Cauley-Stein this season as well as putting very good games up against Miles Plumlee. He was never the most consistant producer, and many attribute that to Maryland's playing style, but he's played really well against other 7 footers and lottery caliber talent.
It's pretty easy to picture him as a starter who can score on the block, face up and give you between 12-14 ppg 7-10 rpg but also use his length to protect the rim and with a summer birthday, he'll be only 20 years old throughout his rookie year, so I feel there is still some major room for growth despite a more mature skillset. The potential of him being a now rare legit low post scorer makes him worth the risk in the top 5 and the fact you don't have to teach this kid from scratch how to shoot or score in the post makes his floor higher than a lot of the purely defensive athletes.
He has nowhere near the offensive talent of brook Lopez or the touch or potential to ever be close IMO
Len has 4 to 6 written all over him.
Cats could go with him at 4 and get a PF in the free agency, suns could go with him and trade gortat to get a lotto pick to stay real bad in regard of the next draft, pelicans could draft him since rolo is average...
Check out the video I made of LEN vs Kentucky not just highlights. Its highs and lows
Alex Len vs Kentucky