Alex Len Could Be Next Cleveland Cavaliers Draft Surprise

By James LeBeau
Alex Len, Nerlens Noel
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

With a few lucky bounces, the Cleveland Cavaliers have secured themselves the top spot in the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft. Since then, speculation has been running wild over what exactly they should do with this pick. Well, I’m here to say that there can never be enough fuel for the fire and that the Cavaliers are going to once again buck conventional wisdom with yet another surprise pick.

The past two NBA Drafts, the Cavaliers have gone against the grain and picked players many experts and rival teams considered reaches. In 2011, they took Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick. While ranked a lottery pick, nobody had Thompson going that high. Then, in 2012, the Cavaliers topped that shocker with the pick of Dion Waiters in the fourth spot. Again, many felt that Waiters was a lottery pick, but nobody saw the Cavs grabbing him so high.

Enter 2013 and it’s my belief that Cleveland is going to go for the unorthodox pick for the third straight draft. This time, the player will be Ukrainian center Alex Len instead of consensus choice Nerlens Noel.

Len is a legit 7’1” center who played two seasons at Maryland. During his two years, Len displayed a wide variety of skills that will project nicely at the next level. A true center, Len is highly mobile and has shown a good shooting touch as well as the ability to block shots and rebound. Physically, he has all the tools available to become the best big in this draft.

Another potential point in the favor of Len over Noel as the Cavaliers choice is that there have been whispers that Len has a champion within the Cavs organization pushing for him to be picked. It is rumored that Cleveland’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a huge fan and believes Len can fill the same role he did during the Cavaliers’ 60-win seasons under head coach Mike Brown. Ilgauskas rejoined the Cavaliers in 2012 as the team’s assistant general manager under general manager Chris Grant after retiring from basketball.

While Len does have a lot of positives that lead me to believe he will be the Cavaliers choice, it should be noted that they will be unable to work him out before the draft. Len is currently recovering from ankle surgery and won’t be back on the court until training camp.

That being said, don’t be shocked to see Len sporting a Cavaliers jersey by the end of draft night. The fit between the two is just too perfect for the Cavaliers to ignore.

James LeBeau is a columnist/writer for Follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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