Alex Len Would Be Great Selection for Cavaliers at No. 1 Overall

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJune 25, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Alex Len #25 (L) of Maryland looks to drive around while being defended by Willie Cauley-Stein #15 of the Kentucky Wildcats during the Barclays Center Classic at the Barclays Center on November 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images)
Jason Szenes/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be making a smart investment on Thursday night if the organization selects Maryland center Alex Len with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

Jimmy Smith of has heard that Len is expected to selected by the Cavs:

While Len hasn’t gotten nearly as much hype as other prospects—especially Nerlens Noel—the 7'1" center is the right selection. He was bound to be a top-10 pick in the first place, and, while the No. 1 pick comes with a lot more pressure, there’s no question that Len will be able to take it in stride.

Many will argue that Noel is the better prospect, which he may be, but Len is the better fit for Cleveland. He’s more of a prototypical center and won’t get pushed around by the other big men in the league on the low post like Noel likely will.

Opposing forwards and centers will back down Noel and he won’t be able to stop them. Len, on the other hand, is 250 pounds and is built like a Redwood. When the two played each other during the regular season, it was Len who was better, but it was Noel’s team that picked up the victory.

In the Kentucky-Maryland match-up, Len played 32 minutes, scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Noel, on the other hand, only had four points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes. It was only one game, but it’s interesting to see how they played against each other.

While Kyrie Irving and Noel would certainly put on a show night after night, Len is the center who can be more consistent. Irving and Len could play an outstanding pick-and-roll game and the point guard would feel more than comfortable letting Len do his own thing down low.

It’s tough to imagine Noel playing well in the paint considering how undersized he is. He’s going to have to come out of the paint and hit jump shots in order to be successful in the NBA. It’s the other way around for Len, who should make a living down low.

Len wasn’t a major contributor on offense for the Terrapins a year ago. He averaged just 11.9 points per game in 26.4 minutes. He was a force on the glass, though, averaging 7.8 rebounds in his sophomore season. He also knows how to create difficult shots for opponents, and that’s not something that’s easy to teach.

Len, however, isn’t the perfect prospect.

Len had surgery in May repair a partial stress fracture in his left ankle, according to Jeff Barker of The Baltimore Sun. Barker reported at the time that Len would miss four-to-six months, meaning he wouldn’t be able to do any pre-draft workouts.

The surgery hasn’t affected his draft stock in a negative manner. In fact, it appears that teams are disregarding the injury and he’s moving up many experts’ draft boards.

If the injury was that concerning, the Cavs wouldn’t be considering him with the top pick in the draft. The last thing the Cavs want to do is to take a Greg Oden or an Andrew Bogut. Len will not be restricted in the upcoming season and will surely prove his worth as the top pick.

While Noel is certainly a tempting prospect, he's the wrong choice, and Len is the correct one.