If the Cleveland Cavaliers pass on selecting center Nerlens Noel with the first overall pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, then the Orlando Magic will likely take him second overall, reports Chad Ford of ESPN, citing "sources close to the Magic."
"If the draft was held today, Noel would be our first choice," one of Ford's sources said, though Ford notes that the Magic's preferences could change in the days leading up to Thursday's event.
Ford says Noel, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, "wowed" the Magic in a recent interview, and that Orlando believes the former Kentucky Wildcat "should end up being the best player in the draft."
Selecting Noel is contingent upon Cleveland passing on him, perhaps for Maryland center Alex Len. Ford wrote Monday night that the Cavaliers have yet to make a decision regarding the top pick, but that he is "persuaded, though not convinced" that they will ultimately select Noel.
To the surprise of resident Draft expert Tyler Lashbrook, Orlando Pinstriped Post readers selected Noel to be second on the Community Draft Board, behind Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore and ahead of Indiana shooting guard Victor Oladipo.