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Nerlens Noel plans Christmas debut

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05:27 PM ET 06.15 | Top NBA Draft prospect Nerlens Noel plans to return from a torn ACL and make his professional debut by Christmas, which puts him on a recovery timetable of roughly eight months. As we've seen with Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, these kinds of injuries can linger for longer than expected, but other athletes -- such as Knicks wing Iman Shumpert -- have returned in less time. "I'm just taking steps to get back. From when I got surgery, eight months would be probably around Christmas. It's probably November to Christmas. There's no rush. I'm just trying to get back," Noel said. While the injury hasn't significantly damaged Noel's draft stock, as he's still the likely No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, his medicals are arguably the biggest red flag on his resume. Should he return healthy this winter, his new team will presumably be thrilled.

USA Today

Nerlens Noel, USA TODAY Sports Nerlens Noel, USA TODAY Sports
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June 15, 2013  06:19 PM ET

Drafting him @ top 3 would be a HUGE mistake some team will regret.

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June 15, 2013  07:07 PM ET

This is the Christmas present no one would want to unwrap.

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June 15, 2013  08:23 PM ET

2 surgeries before he's ever played in the NBA. This will not end well IMO. Going to cost some GM his job in 3-4 years.

June 15, 2013  08:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Noel is considered a the #1 pick in the draft for a reason.Not sure what you geniuses know that the scouts and people in the know actually don't know.

Do the scouts always get it right? No they don't.

June 15, 2013  09:12 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Noel is considered a the #1 pick in the draft for a reason.Not sure what you geniuses know that the scouts and people in the know actually don't know.

Greg Oden was considered the consensus #1 pick and had injury concerns entering the draft...

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June 16, 2013  09:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Noel is considered a the #1 pick in the draft for a reason.Not sure what you geniuses know that the scouts and people in the know actually don't know.

I totally agree. Would I prefer a Jordan, Johnson, Bird or James at the top? Yes. But GM's, scouts and other personnel guys know a heck of a lot more than a few who watch Sportscenter highlights.

June 16, 2013  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Noel is considered a the #1 pick in the draft for a reason.Not sure what you geniuses know that the scouts and people in the know actually don't know.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see who has a history of injuries and who doesn't. Maybe this term is new to you, but it is called "common sense".

If a team wants to gamble on an offensively-deficient, injury-proned project, the best place would be to pick 5-10. At top-3 you would like more of a guaranteed pick then a project.

If someone picked Noel at 7 or 8, it is REALLY worth that gamble and a good move. But at no.1? The word that comes to my mind is 'stupidity"!

June 16, 2013  10:23 AM ET

B-U-S-T, Bro.

June 16, 2013  06:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

They are definitely correct more often than you.

There have been more busts then HOFers taken with the first overall pick. Noel is a sure fire bust not because I know but because all you have to do is look at the facts. The guy is a fragile toothpick.

If the guy is so great I hope your team drafts him. I sure as heck would not want him. We have the Bostrich.

June 16, 2013  06:53 PM ET

First players picked since 1990. I see 3 sure fire HOFers and a whole lot of busts.

2012 Anthony Davis New Orleans Hornets University of Kentucky
2011 Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers Duke University
2010 John Wall Washington Wizards University of Kentucky
2009 Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers University of Oklahoma
2008 Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls University of Memphis
2007 Greg Oden Portland Trail Blazers Ohio State University
2006 Andrea Bargnani Toronto Raptors
2005 Andrew Bogut Milwaukee Bucks University of Utah
2004 Dwight Howard Orlando Magic
2003 LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
2002 Yao Ming Houston Rockets
2001 Kwame Brown Washington Wizards
2000 Kenyon Martin New Jersey Nets University of Cincinnati
1999 Elton Brand Chicago Bulls Duke University
1998 Michael Olowokandi Los Angeles Clippers University of the Pacific
1997 Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs Wake Forest University
1996 Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers Georgetown University
1995 Joe Smith Golden State Warriors University of Maryland
1994 Glenn Robinson Milwaukee Bucks Purdue University
1993 Chris Webber Orlando Magic University of Michigan
1992 Shaquille O'Neal Orlando Magic Louisiana State University
1991 Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets University of Nevada, Las Vegas
1990 Derrick Coleman New Jersey Nets Syracuse University

June 16, 2013  07:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

First players picked since 1990. I see 3 sure fire HOFers and a whole lot of busts. 2012 Anthony Davis New Orleans Hornets University of Kentucky2011 Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavaliers Duke University2010 John Wall Washington Wizards University of Kentucky2009 Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers University of Oklahoma2008 Derrick Rose Chicago Bulls University of Memphis2007 Greg Oden Portland Trail Blazers Ohio State University2006 Andrea Bargnani Toronto Raptors 2005 Andrew Bogut Milwaukee Bucks University of Utah2004 Dwight Howard Orlando Magic 2003 LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers 2002 Yao Ming Houston Rockets 2001 Kwame Brown Washington Wizards 2000 Kenyon Martin New Jersey Nets University of Cincinnati1999 Elton Brand Chicago Bulls Duke University1998 Michael Olowokandi Los Angeles Clippers University of the Pacific1997 Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs Wake Forest University1996 Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers Georgetown University1995 Joe Smith Golden State Warriors University of Maryland1994 Glenn Robinson Milwaukee Bucks Purdue University1993 Chris Webber Orlando Magic University of Michigan1992 Shaquille O'Neal Orlando Magic Louisiana State University1991 Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets University of Nevada, Las Vegas1990 Derrick Coleman New Jersey Nets Syracuse University

There may be as many as 12 on that list.

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