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NBA Draft rumors 2013: Magic ready to pounce on Noel at No. 2 if given the chance

Cleveland's plans are unclear at the top, but the Magic seem ready to go if Noel's still there at No. 2.

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Andy Lyons

If the Cleveland Cavaliers don't pick Nerlens Noel with the first pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic would lean strongly toward snatching him up at No. 2, ESPN's Chad Ford reported.

Noel (scouting report), the former Kentucky center who declared for the draft after his freshman season ended when he tore his ACL, is currently on a short list that Cleveland is selecting from. So even 48 hours before the draft, it's unclear who will be available for the Magic to select after Cleveland's pick. That level of uncertainty isn't completely absent from Orlando's camp, but Ford said the Magic scouted Noel heavily at Kentucky, and the team feels the 7-footer fits the team's need for a defensive player of Noel's caliber. From Ford:

Sources cautioned that things could change in the next five days as the Magic continue to gather information. "If the draft was held today, Noel would be our first choice," one source told

--Ben McLemore's representation has been in question heading up to the draft, and he finally signed with an agent Tuesday. He will be represented by Rodney Blackstock, who reportedly made payments to McLemore's AAU coach to steer him towards signing with him, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal.

Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo! Sports has a full roundup of the story, including the detail that Blackstock was also a guest of McLemore's at several Kansas home basketball games last season. Darius Cobb, McLemore's former AAU coach, said to USA Today in May that Blackstock paid him and one of McLemore's cousins "thousands of dollars in cash," lodging, meals and travel fare to steer McLemore toward signing with him upon turning professional.

It's unclear how seriously the Cavaliers are considering McLemore with their No. 1 pick, but the drama surrounding McLemore and his representation is not something the Cavaliers are considering as a deal-breaker in their considerations, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

--Former Baylor point guard Pierre Jackson has a handful of interested parties, including the Phoenix Suns who are considering him with their 30th overall pick, Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears said Tuesday. The Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trailblazers also worked him out and are interested, Spears said.

Jackson is ranked as the No. 48 prospect on SB Nation's most recent Big Board, published Monday. Draft Express has the Cavaliers selecting Jackson with the No. 31 overall pick, the first pick of the second round, in its most recent mock draft.

--The Oklahoma City Thunder are exploring options to trade their two first-round picks (No. 12 and No. 29) in an effort to move into the top five, and the Dallas Mavericks are also interested in shopping their No. 13 pick, ESPN's Andy Katz said. Neither team is finding much of a market for their first-round picks.

--It isn't up to Kevin Durant, but someone on Twitter asked him who he'd take with the No. 1 pick, and he responded.

The Thunder have first-round picks at No. 12 and No. 29 (as stated above).

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