Today, Maryland center Alex Len was in Charlotte to interview with Bobcats officials.
Charlotte Observer sportswriter Rick Bonnell writes that Len compares himself to former Cleveland Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. With the ability to score down low and step out of the paint to hit jumpers, the 7’3 Ilgauskas was a tough matchup for opposing centers.
Ilgauskas is serving as the assistant general manager of the Cavaliers, who are reportedly leaning towards selecting Len with the first overall pick. If not, Len could be in play for the Bobcats with the fourth overall pick.
“I’m 7-1 or 7-2 (in sneakers). I’m pretty agile,” said Len to the Charlotte media. “And I can step out and shoot, which makes me different from other (big) guys.”
Len averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and over two blocks in his sophomore season at Maryland. He’s regarded as having terrific mobility and athleticism for a seven-footer, with the potential to impact a game on both sides of the ball.
Len has similarities to Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert. Pick and roll play has become a critical part of today’s NBA and Len does a good job finishing at the rim. With an improving jumper, Len could evolve into the Ilgauskas-esque threat he views himself as.
“It’s that European style where big men can do whatever they want to,’’ Len said. “It just makes me a little different.’’
The Bobcats are in clear need of a scoring big man. They were last in frontcourt scoring and points in the paint in 2012-13. Len could present the Bobcats with a high-upside, cost-friendly option to help fix their struggles up front.
Len is sidelined with a stress fracture in his left ankle and unable to work out for teams. He won’t be able to participate in the summer league, but has a great chance of being ready for training camp in October.
Len has become a popular draft choice here on Roberto Gato. As of this writing, he has a leading 66 votes out of 238 Roberto Gato readers for who fans want to see drafted by the Bobcats. Over 300 readers believe Len will be a solid starter in his NBA career, while over 200 believe he’ll become a legitimate all-star.
The Bobcats will hold their first pre-draft workouts Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. Bonnell writes that Hoosiers center Cody Zeller is expected to be one of the participants.