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NBA Draft 2013: What happens if the Cavaliers don't draft Nerlens Noel?

For a while, it seemed as though Nerlens Noel was the no-brainer top pick in the draft. But what happens if the Cavaliers decide to go in a different direction?


The brain-trust at Fear the Sword has been leading the Nerlens Noel bandwagon for a long time now. I wrote during the middle of the season that Noel was the obvious top player in this draft and if the Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick, the decision would be easy. However, it appears that the decision is a bit more complicated than we anticipated.

When Nerlens Noel tore his ACL and lost some weight following the surgery, people started to question just how durable he would be in the NBA. Reports are flying out of Cleveland that Chris Grant and company are not quite comfortable tabbing Noel as their top pick.

Over the course of this draft process, I have fallen in love with the idea of Noel on the Cavs and would be thoroughly disappointed if they end up going in a different direction. Beyond disappointed, I'll probably have a wide range of emotions depending on what the Cavs do during the draft. Assuming that they don't trade the pick and remain in the #1 spot, here's a ranking of how I'll react to each selection (ranking is from least upset to most upset, according to Nic Cage GIFs).

1. Alex Len

If the Cavs decide to take Len instead of Noel, I'll be pretty upset. I mean, I'll be upset regardless of what they do if Noel isn't their guy. Alex Len would probably make me the least angry because he's still a really nice prospect. He's big and fills a need. He's still huge and has great defensive upside, even if he isn't the otherworldly defensive prospect that Noel appears to be. There are questions about the stress fractures in his ankles, but if the Cavs take him then I assume they aren't too concerned about those.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


2. Anthony Bennett

This is a really difficult ranking for me. Why would I be less upset if the Cavs drafted Bennett first overall than if they drafted Otto Porter? It comes down to upside. I don't think Porter has any chance at truly being a star in this league. With Bennett's freakish athleticism and great scoring ability, he has a chance to be a stud. If he commits himself to the defensive end, he could be the best player in this draft. I think there's a very low (virtually nonexistent) chance that Porter ends up being the best player from the draft. If the Cavs determine that Bennett is the best player, I can get on board with that more than if they pick Porter due to him being a better fit.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


3. Otto Porter

As I just said previously, I had a hard time determining if I'd be more upset with Porter or Bennett. Is it crazy to say that if we were picking 3rd, I'd rather have Porter but since we're picking 1st, I'd rather have Bennett? It's probably crazy but it makes sense in my head. Porter is a fine player and will have a nice career, but I just don't think he has the longterm upside to justify being the first pick. If the Cavs take him, it will look like they were being safe and just took the best fit. That would upset me greatly.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


4. Victor Oladipo

It doesn't really sound as though Oladipo is in the running for the #1 pick, but anything is possible. I guess I'd understand the pick because he's probably ready to contribute right away and could definitely play defense. That's what Mike Brown wants to do, so at least he'd be a fit in the team's new philosophy. That said, he's still not nearly the best player available and questions about his shooting ability have me extremely hesitant about him.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


5. Ben McLemore

There are a lot of Cavs fans that would actually be happy if the team selected McLemore with the first overall pick. I don't understand that at all. They just used the #4 pick on a shooting guard and Dion Waiters made significant strides over the course of the year. The backcourt of the future is set and taking McLemore would be incredibly hard for me to justify.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


6. Trey Burke

Ummm, the Cavaliers already have Kyrie Irving. If you think the Cavs should draft Burke because Kyrie gets hurt too much or because you're afraid the Cavs won't be able to sign him long term, just go away. This would be a disaster.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


What if the Cavs just take Nerlens Noel?


How happy, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?


What if the Cavs don't take ANY of these players?

Well..let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.

How upset, on a scale of 1 to Nic Cage?