Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel, the projected favorite to go No. 1 in the NBA draft, will meet with the Wizards on Saturday, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The Wizards have the third selection in the June 27 draft but are expected to be the second team to host Noel, who already met with the Orlando Magic on June 2 and will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on June 20.
The 6-foot-11 Noel could become the third Kentucky player to go first overall in the past four NBA drafts, joining John Wall and Anthony Davis, after averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in his one season under Coach John Calipari.
But several scouts and executive have speculated that Noel could also slide. During the NBA combine in Chicago last month, Noel weighed in at 206 pounds and he is also recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, raising concerns about his durability and strength inside.
Cleveland and Orlando, which hold the top two picks, are both reportedly interested in moving out of their draft position. The Cavaliers could bypass Noel with the No. 1 pick to address a need for at small forward, while Orlando doesn’t necessarily have a need at center following the breakout campaign of Nikola Vucevic.
Noel has only able to make weekend visits with teams as he does rehab during the week from surgery under the supervision of famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Noel said that he is working out twice-a-day for a total of five to six hours and hopes to be ready to play by Christmas.