The 2013 NBA Draft is just one week away, but there's still no consensus on whom the Cleveland Cavaliers will select with the first overall pick. Though most experts and analysts consider Kentucky center Nerlens Noel to be the top prospect available, Cleveland continues to "aggressively shop this pick," according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. Mannix says "league sources expect" that Cleveland will pick Noel, but that it may go in a different direction.
Cleveland's potentially passing on Noel would leave him on the board when the Orlando Magic select second overall, presenting the rebuilding team with an interesting dilemma. The team is well stocked up front, with center Nik Vučević and power forward Tobias Harris showing promise in their second professional seasons. It also has veteran power forward Glen Davis providing defensive intensity and leadership, and rookie big men Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn showing potential as role-playing reserves.
An upgrade at point guard or the wings is arguably more pressing for the Magic at the moment, and yet passing on Noel could haunt them, given his potential as a game-changing defensive anchor. The freshman blocked 4.4 shots per game in his one season as a Wildcat.
One factor complicating Cleveland's selection is the ACL injury which Noel suffered in February. Noel may not be ready to play until December at the earliest, and the Cavaliers wish to contend for a playoff spot. To that end, they may wish to take a player who can help them more immediately then Noel would. Orlando, in contrast, has no such concerns about qualifying for the postseason and can thus afford to be patient in developing Noel.
The NBA Draft is set for June 27th at 7 PM.