Ok I don't know about everyone else, but these rumours of us taking Oladipo and Len with the number one pick are really frustrating. There is absolutely no reason that we should take either of these players with the number one pick, and here is why.
I watched a bit of college basketball this season, and at times Oladipo was overlooked due to his Indiana team-mate Cody Zeller, but Oladipo was the lifeblood of that team. It became a familiar sight to see Oladipo swipe the ball from an opposing guard, sprint up the floor and finish the fast break. Hell there was a time where believe it or not but he was possibly being heralded as the next Michael Jordan! But he does not have a place as the number one pick of the 2013 NBA draft. Why draft a SG when we already have Dion Waiters? Mike Brown has already said that he believes Waiters is a starter in this league! He has improved leaps and bounds throughout the year, I'm sure that everyone has seen the workout videos, and it would be a shame to halt his progress by drafting another SG, especially when Dion has proven himself at a NBA level. Personally I am getting sick of the "oh but Dion was a sixth man in college, he would be more suited to playing that role at the Cavs" excuse. During his 2011-12 season at Syracuse, Waiters was relegated to the bench because of seniority to Brandon Triche, but Triche averaged 22.5 mins and Waiters average 24.1 mins, Waiters was clearly the primary SG. That aside, how does Dion compare to Oladipo in their final college season? Oladipo's calling card is his astute defence, averaging 2.2 steals, an impressive number, yet Dion averaged 1.8 steals per game, also impressive. Yet where Dion wins out is Oladipo turned the ball over 2.3 times that's at least one more than Dion's 1.3, so even though Oladipo is gaining more possessions, he also gives up more possessions than Dion! People have also referred to as a better prospect than Waiters, he is only 5 months younger than Waiters, and Waiters has a year of NBA experience under his belt. Simply put, is it really worth relegating a proven NBA scorer to the bench for Oladipo?
Now lets ignore Waiters for a moment, and lets say were going to draft a SG. That would give us the option between Oladipo and McLemore. McLemore is a freshman, leaving him with 2 less years of college experience, I'm pretty confident in saying McLemore has ALOT more potential than Oladipo. McLemore average more than double points than Oladipo in their freshman seasons (15.9 to 7.4), infact McLemore's 15.9 is still more than Oladipo's 13.6 from his junior season. Athletically they tested almost identical. But who is the better fit for the Cavs? Well Cavs ranked 29th in FG% and 23rd in 3PT% and 19th in Total Points. There is no question that McLemore would help us out in the points column, but what about the FG%? Oladipo finished the season with a FG% of 59%, wowee that's impressive! But anyone who watched any of Indiana's games this season would know that majority of his points come from around the rim. Although he did have a 3PT% of 44.1% he only ventured beyond the 3PT arch when necessary or when absolutely open shown by him only attempting 68 threes compared to McLemore's 174 who still had a well above average of 42%. It is well established that Oladipo has an inconsistent jump shot with subpar mechanics, and lets face it, he will not be able to get to the rim like he can in college, due to his average ball-handling (to be fair McLemore does not have the best ball-handling either). Additionally McLemore averaged 87% from the charity stripe, a significant advantage to Oladipo's 74.6%. Don't get me wrong, I do not doubt Oladipo's ability to get points and make an impact in the NBA, but looking at McLemore and his sweet shooting stroke would sit better and be more effective along side Kyrie Irving, with his ability to create room and pass for McLemore to knock down the open shot.
To be honest, I really have no idea where this rumour has come about. As opposed to Oladipo or McLemore, Len would fill a need to us. Its becoming clear that Varajao will not be the player we can rely on to play 82 games a season at centre and Zeller will never be a NBA starter. We have a need a true centre who can provide a presence at the rim to deflect and change shots, we ranked LAST in opposition Field goal percentage. Len could provide that, but we are kidding ourselves if we say that he could be a better rim protector or defensive presence than Noel. Noel is clearly the better player and prospect, Kentucky crumpled without Noel! Lets face the facts, Noel averaged 4.4 blocks including 12 in one game! Compared to Lens 2.1. Noel's defensive prowess doesn't stop there, he has long arms and big hands which allow him to interrupt passing lanes and collect steals (2.1 for the season) and Len averages next to NO STEALS, with only 0.2! Even though Len is a true 7 footer, he lacks athleticism. Despite being a 7 footer his subpar athleticism led to him only averaging 7.8 rebounds. It was an all too familiar sight to see opposing centres to jump over the top of him and collect offensive rebounds. And for someone who has been favoured over Noel for his offensive game, he only averages 11.9PPG, his post game is average at best, he is often caught stuck with the ball in his hand and his limited resources which restrict him from getting open shot lead to him forcing up a pressured shot. Majority of his points come from mid-ranged jumpers. This is even more disturbing given that he only averages 69% from the line, how can he rely on a mid ranger when he cannot convert from the line? Noel averaged 10.5PPG going nearly 60FG% compared to Len's 53%. Majority of Noel's points come from his ability to break and beat defences in transition, he would provide a great running mate for Irving in transition. Len just cannot run the way Noel can. Noel averaged only 1.4 less PPG than someone who is considered nearly offensively superior in every way? Makes no sense to me.
I'll put aside the offensive queries to Noel and lets look at the major concern regarding Noel's knee. Apparently it's the end of the world because Noel has torn his ACL? Apparently he is injury prone? Really? Did anyone see the incident? He tore his ACL in a freak accident running the floor for a chase down block in which he hit his knee on the barricade of the rim. By all accounts, Noel's recovery is going well, he is ahead of schedule and he will come back at full fitness. Adrian Peterson is the poster boy of how someone can return from an ACL, and even be better than before! But lets say that this ACL is as bad that all the critics lead you to believe it is. So why would we go for Alex Len? Alex Len is notoriously injury prone! His ankles may as well be made of glass! He has missed multiple games during his two year tenure at Maryland due to his ankles. And now he is set to miss the next 4 months with a stress fracture in his ankles. Now I am no doctor, but let me try and explain what happened Basically, his ankles have fractured, shattered, gave out, under the weight of his own body! And here we are questioning Noel's condition! Why are we not questioning Lens condition! Noel can come back from a muscle injury, he just needs to regain strength in the muscle, Len on the other hand, has brittle bones! This will not change, his bones will be brittle his whole career!
It is time we stop this non-sense! Lets face facts Len and Oladipo are not number one picks, Chris Grant is just doing his due diligence, it would be ignorant to not look at everyone available, he may even be looking at Myck Kabongo as the number one pick, and I don't blame him, that's his job, to look at everything available, we earned that right with the number one pick. But come on, smarten up!
Stats courtesy of DraftExpress.com