NBA Draft Rumors: Cavaliers Linked To Alex Len With First Pick

In his newly published NBA Mock Draft, Joe Kotoch over at SheridanHoops.com has echoed some of the recent suggestions that the Cavaliers are not sold on Nerlens Noel as the number one pick in this draft due to his knee injury and positional concerns. Instead, Kotoch has the Cavaliers drafting sophomore Maryland center Alex Len.

“All season long Len has intrigued Cavs executive Zydrunas Ilgauskas with his skills, length, and upside. It appears Ilgauskas may be swaying others in Cleveland to join him on Len’s bandwagon.

It is easy to see why pairing Len with Kyrie Irving could change the fortunes of this downtrodden franchise. Len is a long and lengthy defender who can block shots and rebound, though not at the impactful level of a healthy-Noel.

Len’s signature right now is his developed offensive game in the post and facing the basket. With Irving and Len, Cleveland could have a really impressive pick-and-pop game.”

Len has injury concerns of his own after he suffered a partial stress fracture in his left ankle. With recovery set at 4-6 months back in early May when surgery was conducted, Len will be cutting in close in terms of being ready for opening night himself.

The Terrapin big man averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks this past season while flashing a pick-and-pop game and the ability to athletically defend the pick and roll as well as inside the paint.

Ilgauskas, you will recall, returned to the Cavaliers two seasons ago as a special assistant to General Manager Chris Grant after a 13-year career with the first 12 of those seasons in Cleveland. Big Z battled back from a set of multiple injuries to both feet to play at least 62 games each year after 2001 and 73 or more games in a six-year stretch from 2002-2008, which encompassed the start of the best postseason run in team history.

This will certainly not be the last name tagged with the Cavaliers as the top selection as Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Noel, Len, and Victor Oladipo have all been mentioned as a possible top selection.

Related: Cavalier NBA Draft Film Room: Alex Len 

  • Bob

    I’ve been waiting for the Cavs to get an injured white stiff.

  • mgbode

    if we had the medical reports, then we’d know better if this might be true. if he checks out and is expected to be healthy/non-recurrent, then I don’t see why not. he’s this drafts Hibbert

  • Natedawg86

    I have been intrigued by Duncan this series more than ever. Find a Duncan!

  • LaundroMat

    What’s his being white have to do with anything?

  • Harv 21

    “All season long Len has intrigued Cavs executive Zydrunas
    Ilgauskas with his skills, length, and upside. It appears Ilgauskas may
    be swaying others in Cleveland to join him on Len’s bandwagon.”

    Really? Z shared this? He’s always been that spill the beans type. Unidentified “others” confessed to the writer it “appears” they “may” be swayed? Dang, this FO better finally learn to clam up before the draft.

    Good stuff.

  • mgbode

    you don’t find a Duncan, a Duncan finds you

  • JeBron_Lames

    I would be completely ok with this.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Stress fractures scare me way more than ACL tears do tough. If he developed a stress fracture playing the collegiate game…what’s going to happen at the next level when he plays harder minutes in more games with less rest?

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Way to play the race card…that can’t possibly ever go wrong.

  • KingKosar

    What *should* scare you is the fact that this was not Noel’s first ACL injury…

  • woofersus

    “All season long” reads “the last time I spoke to Ilgauskas about Len was in January, and he seemed impressed. Could mean something…”

    Seems like their strategy is that every time a writer asks what they think about any player, the response is always “Love him, he’s awesome.” I fully expect them to be linked to at least 3 more possible selections before the draft.

  • woofersus

    Was the stress facture in his ankle or foot? I thought it was his foot, but I’d be a little less concerned if it was his ankle.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    And when was his other ACL injury? Because a broken growth plate in his early high school years (while his body was still developing) is very very very different from an ACL tear.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Most reports seem to be saying it was his ankle.

  • KingKosar

    Good catch, Ben. My bad. I mis-read the article about his injury history (Stating that the rush back from the fractured growth plate may have contributed to the ACL tear…)

  • Ben Frambaugh

    That’s alright…there’s another article out there that says he missed time due to ankle issues…which is also patently false. He missed 10 games one season due to eligibility issues…and missed 0 games due to his ankles. I was a pretty big fan of Len til the stress fracture issues. This was also before I knew we had the #1 overall.

  • Porkchop

    Why not trade down t 5 or 6 and pick up Len at that point? The Cavs could parlay this to ridding of a bad contract or picking up a late first rounder next season. Pick up a SF witht he second pick.

  • mgbode

    what bad contract do we have to give?

  • mgbode

    the question is how far down the ankle was the fracture.
    also, I read this over the weekend:

    “Once Len decided on surgery, he traveled to North Carolina to see Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle surgeon who has operated on several NBA stars, including Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry.”


    other than that, it’s a good read.

  • Ben Frambaugh

    Great article! I wish I knew. I know I liked him a lot when I was thinking we’d be picking something other than #1. I know that his stress fracture has “scuffed the shine” for me as well. Still…if his ankle fully recovers, I think he’ll be a good player in the NBA.