The NBA draft is next Thursday. It’s an event that is nowhere near as ballyhooed or overhyped as the NFL’s draft, but this year’s version figures to create some pretty big news locally.

Some of that news may be a little mind-boggling.

Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. and Maryland’s Alex Len opted to enter the draft after two years at their respective colleges. Wise choices, no doubt. The money being tossed around is too much to ignore for a potential high pick and both figure to go pretty high.

Len, it seems, could go very high. Some credible buzz has been building that the Cleveland Cavaliers may use the No. 1 pick to take Len.

If that creates a “Say what?” reaction, it probably should. No disrespect to Len, who is a fine player and a heck of a pro prospect. He should go high in the draft and he should enjoy a productive pro career.
But No. 1?

Did anyone watch Len at Maryland and say, “There’s the top pick in the draft”?

He is 7-foot-1 and you can’t teach that. There’s some thought that his game may be more suited to the pro style and that his development has not come close to peaking.

But No. 1?

A recent mock draft at SheridanHoops.com, a well-respected site, has Len going No. 1. The Cavaliers are said to be concerned about a knee injury suffered by Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, a 7-footer who may not be able to play until January. Never mind that Len is dealing with an ankle injury of his own.

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com likes Len, though he isn’t buying the No. 1 talk.

“There is a lot of time to fill before each NBA draft, and lots of bad information circulates,” Parrish said. “It’s why these mock drafts change so much. Either way, at the end of the day, nobody really knows how that night will unfold regardless of what they say. This is mostly a guessing game.

“So, yeah, I know some are now guessing that Alex could go No. 1. And I suppose he could, in theory. But do I think it will actually happen? No. I’d be surprised if it went that way.”

Parrish and CBSSports.com colleague Matt Moore each have Len at No. 10 (Portland) in their most-recent mock drafts. That seems about right. A scan of the billions (or so it seems) mocks online show Len in the 4-10 range.