Originally Posted by WVRed
I understand, but teams with a top pick are likely going to be looking for an instant impact player. Orlando, Charlotte, and Washington will likely be picking in the top five and will look at a Shabazz Muhammad or Ben McLemore now, someone who can step in and create an instant impact.
Noel does benefit though as this is going to be an extremely weak draft class. His long term impact could outweigh the instant impact of the rest of the class. My biggest concern would be future injuries, especially with Greg Oden fresh in everyone's mind.
Not to mention that a great deal of the potential lottery teams all have a common pressing need: SF/Wing. And Charlotte's prime need, since they've got SF covered, is a big man who can score. In which case, from everything I've heard from those close to the Bobcats organization, they are really high on UNLV's Anthony Bennett , who comps as a better ball handling Larry Johnson.
Anyway, my point is that there was no guarantee that Noel would have gone first even if the unfortunate injury hadn't occurred - not that I agree with it with my belief that you always draft the player with the highest ceiling if your team is that
bad - so the unfortunate injury may well hurt his draft stock, though not catastrophically.