Alex Len Would Fit With Cleveland Cavaliers as No. 1 Overall Pick in NBA Draft

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJune 27, 2013

Apr 2, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len (25) goes up for a layup over Iowa Hawkeyes center Gabriel Olaseni (0) during the first half of the NIT Tournament semifinal at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former Maryland standout center Alex Len is garnering consideration for the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday evening's 2013 NBA draft in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The franchise that holds the selection, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have all options at their disposal, but Len would be a solid fit should they choose to go in that direction.

CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein cited a source in reporting that the Cavs are leaning toward choosing Len with the top pick:

Len is a supremely athletic and stands at a legitimate 7'1" with a 255-pound frame. Once he puts on some more thickness, he will be the prototypical size for an NBA center.

What makes Len a solid option as opposed to, say, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, is that he already has a polished offensive game. At Maryland, he showed the ability to dominate the post at times and also flashed a smooth mid-range jumper.

Those are things that are necessary for Cleveland to succeed in the near future.

New head coach Mike Brown is going to install a magnificent defensive scheme to serve as the foundation around which to build the team. Brown's proven genius on that end of the floor alone should immensely improve what was one of the Association's worst defenses in 2012-13.

Offense isn't Brown's philosophical strong suit, so he needs as many players to create offense as possible. GM Chris Grant has already drafted a dynamic backcourt in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters to do just that, and Len would be another strong contributor in that regard.

Yes, there is the presence of another first-round pick in Tyler Zeller on the front line, but Cleveland needs more scoring from its frontcourt to contend in the Eastern Conference.

Zeller didn't show enough as a rookie to prove that he can be more than a bench player, as he averaged just 7.9 points on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor.

On the other hand, Len can not only play pick-and-roll as Zeller can with Irving and Waiters, but he can also establish himself inside and be strong with the basketball at the rim.

The concern is lack of consistency, and it's not as if Len's stats from his sophomore season blow anyone away: 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest.

However, in a weak draft, the ceiling for Len is as high as any of the top prospects. If he pans out and continues to develop at the next level under Brown's tutelage, he could blossom into a fantastic, All-Star caliber player.

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