An NBA scout evaluates Kentucky center Nerlens Noel

Orlando Sentinel

Ryan Blake, the senior director of NBA scouting operations, offers his take on University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel:

“Before his injury, he was making the necessary strides to improve. He had an improving offensive game, and that’s very important. . . . He was getting stronger, and he had improved his offensive range and versatility. That’s a good thing. 

“Defensively, his upside is just huge. He had huge hops. He could block and alter shots.

“He has good hands and good instincts, and he was a pretty good passer from both the high and low post. I loved that. . . .

“He’s not going to be ready in the summer league. He’s not going to be ready for preseason camp. He’s got to put on weight, and it’s got to be good strength and conditioning weight. So it probably won’t be until half the season is over that he’s ready to play — maybe. So, how long is it going to take for him to develop? Two years? Three years?”

Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at and connect with him on Facebook at Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

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