Maryland center Alex Len had been moving up draft boards — big men always move up the board and Len is 7’1” and skilled, with a good touch around the basket. DraftExpress had him going No. 7.
I say had because news came out Friday that Len had ankle surgery that will sideline him into next season, something tweeted by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
This could drop him a little, but likely not that much so long as team doctors are convinced this is something he can recover from, something that will not be chronic.
If you’re looking for positives, early in the season he looked great against the likely No. 1 overall pick Nerlens Noel. But Lee has had an up-and-down season. The questions revolve around his strength and toughness.
But in a draft full of risks, teams are more willing to gamble on true centers with a deft scoring touch inside. He’s the kind of big you can see as a solid rotation player in a couple years, and there is a lot of value in that.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.
Eight days ago, Derrick Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone suffered in training camp. The Bulls said he would be ready to resume basketball activities in two weeks, and in the meantime will rejoin practice soon. That part is still on schedule — head coach Fred Hoiberg says Rose will be with the team when they return to Chicago on Monday following a two-game preseason road trip, but unless the swelling in his eye dies down, it could be a little longer before he can start practicing again.
Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It’s not ideal, but since there’s no structural damage to Rose’s face, once he’s cleared to resume practicing, it’s just a matter of getting back into game shape before he can start playing in games. The team is still optimistic he’ll be able to play opening night against the Cavaliers on October 27.