2013 NBA Draft Profile : Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel is regarded by most as the top prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft, despite tearing his ACL just 24 games into his college career. Noel was a dominant defensive force on a Kentucky team that just lost in the first round of the NIT to Robert Morris. Despite the disappointing season for the defending National Champions, they make it back-to-back years with the first overall pick of the draft. In his short stint with the Wildcats, Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game.

Strengths :

  1. Explosive leaper, runs the floor extremely well
  2. 7’4″ wingspan
  3. Incredible shot blocker with either hand
  4. Good Rebounding Instincts, active on the offensive glass
  5. Solid lateral quickness, allows to help on defense and guard perimeter players on switches
  6. Finishes with both hands (64% at the rim in half court at Kentucky)



Weaknesses :

  1. Needs to add strength, just 216 pounds
  2. Tries to block everything rather than battle for position, gives up deep post position
  3. Struggles at finishing through contact
  4. Not a great post scorer (0.767 points per possession in post)
  5. Shooting (52.9% on free throws)
  6. Torn ACL


The ceiling is high for Nerlens Noel, but scouts have their doubts. The obvious question is whether or not he can fully bounce back from his torn ACL. With the 2013 Draft Class viewed as historically weak, whoever chooses first may be willing to take a chance on Noel. In a year that there may be no impact rookies, teams may make their selections solely on upside. Noel has the potential to be an elite shot blocker with his world-class athleticism. Missing Summer League, Training Camp, and individual workouts will almost certainly hold up the development of the Kentucky big men, but for a team looking for some rim protection, Noel is that guy.

NBA Comparison : Anthony Davis

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