There's a growing sentiment out there that the Cleveland Cavaliers are leaning toward selecting Alex Len (scouting report) as opposed to Nerlens Noel (scouting report) with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's draft, as there have been concerns about Noel's surgically repaired left knee and slight frame. However, some of those concerns should be alleviated, because Noel's knee has checked out fine on multiple occasions in recent weeks.
Noel talked to Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal on Sunday, and he told Tucker that the Cavs' team doctor checked out his knee during a visit to Cleveland last week. The diagnosis was very positive:
"The doctor said everything was perfect," Noel said. "All three teams I've been to said it looks 100 percent fine and I'm definitely ahead of schedule. It's all been positive feedback."
Noel still isn't jumping yet, but he's running and has been doing some shooting. Noel has consistently said that he hopes to return by November or December, and he reiterated that point to Tucker.
In addition to the knee being in good shape, Noel is reportedly up to 220 pounds after weighing in at just 206 pounds at the NBA Combine. Noel and his recently hired agent, Andy Miller, also quashed the rumors that the big man is receiving bad advice from some of the people around him, a claim recently made by ESPN's Ryen Russillo on The B.S. Report.
-- CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher reports that Luol Deng, LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Granger are three high-priced veterans who could be dealt before or during the draft. Cleveland is reportedly interested in Deng, who has one year left on his contract and is owed over $14 million. The Cavs do have a hole at small forward and Deng could help solidify that position for a possible playoff run next season. However, the belief is that the Cavs won't actually trade the No. 1 pick for Deng or any of these guys because they're asking for too much.
-- The Dallas Mavericks are trying hard to get rid of the No. 13 pick in the draft, and according to Fletcher Mackel of WDSU TV, the New Orleans Pelicans may be looking to acquire that pick. The Pelicans would also take Shawn Marion's ~$9 million contract off the Mavs' hands in the deal, which would help Dallas clear cap space for a run at Dwight Howard. With the No. 13 pick, New Orleans would then select Euro prospect Giannis Adetokoubo (scouting report). The Pelicans would reportedly send a future pick to Dallas in return.
-- Steven Adams (scouting report) saw his draft stock rise after testing well at the combine, and that stock continues to go up thanks to strong workouts. A mystery team told NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper that they have Adams as their seventh-best prospect, and now Adams has a workout with the Sacramento Kings on Monday. The Kings have the No. 7 pick in the draft, although drafting a center like Adams would leave a lot of questions about the future of DeMarcus Cousins.
-- The Phoenix Suns are still contemplating a variety of options with the No. 5 pick in the draft, and taking a big man is one of those options. If the Suns go big with that pick, they may feel more inclined to deal Marcin Gortat in order to grab another pick in the first round, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The Portland Trail Blazers have held interest in Gortat in the past, and perhaps they would be willing to part with the No. 10 pick in exchange for him.