Noel drops on Big Board
How injury to Kentucky star affects ranking of top 30 NBA draft prospects
A month has passed since our first Big Board of the year, and we are starting to see some real movement in the top 10.
We have a new No. 1 after Nerlens Noel tore his ACL in Kentucky's loss to Florida on Tuesday night. While Noel is expected to make a full recovery in six to eight months, it does shake up the board.
In addition to the movement at the top, there is some interesting shuffling further down the board based on the recent play of prospects. There is still plenty of time for players to make major leaps up (or down) the board, but what's more interesting right now is to watch the direction in which certain prospects are trending.
Here is our third Big Board of 2013, ranking the top 30 prospects for the NBA draft.
(Note: Stats are accurate as of Feb. 14.)
McLemore continues to show his upside as a jump-shooter and elite athlete (case in point: his 30-point performance against Kansas State on Monday). When he's locked in and aggressive, he looks like he could be an NBA All-Star. But he also has given scouts reason to be concerned. At times he struggles to assert himself because of a lack of confidence in his ballhandling abilities. At this point, McLemore is the No. 1 player on our Big Board more by default than he is by virtue of having locked down the top spot. However, with the Charlotte Bobcats having the best odds of winning the draft lottery right now, and with McLemore being a great fit there, he earns the nod.
Bennett seems to be getting his groove back in Mountain West play. His performance against New Mexico last week (17 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals) was one of his best efforts of the season. Scouts still worry, a little bit, about Bennett's lack of prototypical size for the power forward position, but everything else about his game screams NBA. With so few sure things in this draft, Bennett has a lot going for him.
To see the rest of Chad Ford's Big Board of the top 30 NBA prospects, you must be an ESPN Insider.