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Nerlens Noel may sit out first season

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Nerlens Noel may sit out first season

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via USA Today

 

Trading an all-star for a rookie and draft picks doesn’t make sense. A rookie who went number 6 in a remarkably weak draft doesn’t make sense. That rookie has an injured ACL, and instead of playing, they’ll consider sitting him out the entire year. I’m pretty sure it’s not because they believe he has a shot at Rookie of the Year next season.

All these don’t make sense in the real world. But the Philadelphia 76ers are not in the real world this season. They are…(play the music, ancient ones)..in the Tanking Zone.

per USA Today:

 First-year 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said he’s being methodical in his search for a new head coach, unconcerned that a dozen other NBA teams have already filled their coaching vacancies.

Some may have other words to describe the protracted processes that have defined the beginning of his tenure in Philadelphia. Hinkie takes his time, whether hiring a coach, evaluating players or introducing a potentially franchise-altering rookie.

 

The Sixers introduced Nerlens Noel during a press conference Tuesday at their practice facility at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, nearly full month after the draft-day trade that sent All-Star guard Jrue Holiday to New Orleans in exchange for the injured big man and a top-five protected pick in 2014. Hinkie said it was difficult trading Holiday, but touted Noel’s abilities and upside while simultaneously preaching patience as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“Rim protectors are at a real premium in our league right now. A real premium,” Hinkie said. “Athletic players have always been at a premium. Nerlens is both. Nerlens is a guy who brings it every possession he’s on the floor, who is constantly trying to protect the rim as drivers attack and as a guy who we think will fit the style of play that we hope to play here in Philadelphia.”

The rail thin center (6-11, 219 pounds) was selected by the Pelicans with the sixth pick in the draft, but was widely expected to go No. 1 overall until tearing an ACL 24 games into his freshman season at Kentucky. He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.1 steals and an NCAA-best 4.4 blocks while shooting 59 percent from the field.

“It’s something that’s always going to be in the back of my mind,” Noel said about his slide in the draft, “but it’s nothing like a sour feeling. It’s just more of a motivation thing. It’s going to drive me to be the great player I want to be. Being here in Philadelphia, I’m just going to keep working hard and staying focused and it’s something that’ll just make the chip on my shoulder grow that much bigger, just push me.”

Noel is likely out until around Christmas at the earliest, and Hinkie would not say whether he could miss the entire season, only that the player’s long-term health and safety is by far the most important priority.

“Nothing else matters as much as that matters,” Hinkie said. “So as this plays out, we will give him all the resources necessary and all the best medical people we can put in front of him, both here and in Birmingham, [Ala.], where he’s been doing his rehab, to try to get him back on the floor, to be the best player he can be for himself and for the Sixers.”

36 year old Father of four, proud Laker fan since '85. Writer, English teacher who hopes to watch hoops incessantly for a living.