NBA Mock Draft 2013: Chad Ford has Wizards taking Alex Len

USA TODAY Sports

Chad Ford's latest mock draft has the Wizards selecting Alex Len at No. 8 overall.

Chad Ford's second NBA Mock Draft is out, and in it, he has the Washington Wizards taking currently-injured Maryland center Alex Len with the No. 8 overall pick. Here's his explanation:

Before last week's news that Len was undergoing surgery and would miss the NBA draft workouts, the combine and summer league, it seemed improbable that the 7-foot-1 big man would fall this low. Now, it appears that he's right within Washington's range. Len could be a steal at No. 8 and could fit a long-term need for Washington. He's one of the two or three most skilled big men in the draft and still has enormous upside.

There's definitely logic in taking a young big man like Len and letting him develop behind Emeka Okafor and Nene. Using Len's injury as a reason not to is dangerous because it's not like Len is being picked exclusively for next year. The only reason to dock Len significantly is if there's any concern the injury will linger throughout his career. If not, it's not good to think only about the present.

On the flip side, expecting Len to contribute extensively right away is asking a lot. Folks will need to be patient with him if he ends up being the pick.

The seven players Ford has going ahead of Len in his mock draft: Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Anthony Bennett and Shabazz Muhammad. The next three guys off the board: C.J. McCollum, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Cody Zeller. Considering all that, I'd be fine with Len. The seven guys picked ahead of him are currently higher on my hypothetical, half-baked draft board, and the three guys are in his range.

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