Standing at an imposing 7-foot-1, Alex Len enters the 2013 NBA Draft as a traditional big man with tremendous skills and upside. The University of Maryland product spent two seasons playing for the Terrapins after arriving from his native country of Ukraine, where he played for the national team at the U-18 European Championships in 2010. During his time in College Park, Len displayed rare athleticism and mobility for a player of his size which may be due to his experience in gymnastics during his youth. Despite undergoing foot surgery this May, Len still projects as a top 10 pick in the June 27 draft.
Things the Draft Experts Like:
ESPN.com: “Len is a big traditional center who can score in the paint or step outside and hit a jumper. He moves very well for a player his size. He’s a good rebounder and shot blocker… He has some nice paint moves for a post player his age.”
NBADraft.Net: “Tall, long and intimidating center who is an impressive athlete for a 7-1 player… Quick off his feet and runs the court with ease… Active without the ball and displays soft touch around the basket… Effective in post due to length and touch, while also a solid shooter that displays range out to 18 feet… Solid passing ability and a natural shot-blocker… Good mobility should make him a good pick-and-roll defender… Has a high ceiling.”
DraftExpress.com: “Oustanding physical profile, standing 7’1” with a huge wingspan, big shoulders and a wide frame… Runs the floor well, elevates off the ground quickly, and is capable of playing above the rim with ease… Effective as a finisher around the rim… Capable of scoring with either hand inside the paint, showing soft hands and excellent touch… Shows a nice basketball IQ moving the ball within the flow of the offense… Has nice shooting mechanics… Terrific size, length and mobility give him tremendous potential on defense… Has quick feet and good timing stepping out and hedging screens on the perimeter… Has a tremendous knack for using his wingspan to alter and reject shots around the rim.”
Draft Expert Concerns:
ESPN.com: “A number of scouts feel his motor and instincts run a tick slow… He is fairly inconsistent. He really needs guards that can get him the ball in the right position to score.”
DraftExpress.com: “Frame is too thin to allow him to establish and hold deep post position… Doesn’t always have footwork, balance and coordination to get a good shot off in traffic… Continuing to get bigger, tougher and strong are huge keys for his future, as well as gaining experience on the basketball court… Scouts will want to see improvement with his turnovers and free throw shooting… Didn’t always show the strength, experience or toughness to deny opposing big men deep post position.”
NBADraft.Net: “Will have to add weight… Doesn’t protect the ball well and tends to expose it to smaller players by bringing it down around his waist… Uncomfortable with the ball in his hands unless his back is to the basket… Turnover prone.”
Len spent two strong seasons at the University of Maryland, alma mater of New Orleans Pelicans standout point guard Greivis Vasquez.