In the end, the old saying defense wins championships is always true. The Spurs use great team defense and fundamentals to hold off the opposition. The Heat use physical freaks such as LeBron James and The Birdman to over-power smaller defenders. Unfortunately, hustle doesn't translate to stops and the physical body just isn't there for Anderson Varejao in the paint. The Cavaliers need an elite rim protector, and both fundamentally and physically, Noel offers a rare chance to grab one.
It is not news to anyone that Noel is coming off a torn ACL. However, is the devastating injury even worrisome to athletes anymore? The answer is no. The advances is therapy and medical knowledge have allowed the freak athletes of the world to come back better than ever. The far less known injury is the growth plate fracture he suffered while in high school, and contrary to belief, this is the injury Chris Grant and the staff are worried about. The long term future of Noel's NBA career will rest on the strength of that knee. All of this said, the Cavs can't afford to take another player, and the reason is clear.
When an athletic 6'11" shot-blocker enters the league, the floor is naturally low. Being gifted defensively, the lowest he could go is a Tyson Chandler type player. Though he is smaller, at the age of 19 Noel has time to add weight, something many expect him to easily do. If he doesn't live up to the hype, he will still be a force defensively and as good of a player as Chandler is, because we all know he can't score any better than Kyrie can play iso defense. In fact, Noel will almost instantly become an offensive threat more than people think. Even as a big man, Noel works well off the dribble. Coach Calapari unfortunately didn't use him this way. Pairing this with his put-back dunks, there is a good chance he puts up at least10 PPG in his first full season, only getting better from there. Back to the other side of play, the blocks are acknowledged by all, as he had 4.4 per game in college; but the X-Factor in his play is the steals he creates. Swiping 2.1 per game, Noel accounts for over six turnovers a game by himself. And did I mention he does all of this while averaging less than 3 fouls per game? The choice is clear, and over-thinking it will hurt the future of Cleveland Basketball. Nerlens Noel will become an all-star in no less than his fourth full season in the NBA, and hopefully Chris Grant realizes this potential.