On Thursday night, the 76ers made some moves during the NBA draft. Nerlens Noel, 19 year old from the University of Kentucky, was considered the best player in this years draft. Unfortunately for Noel, he dropped all the way down to 6th when he was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans. He has had past injury problems, and apparently he was too much of a risk to be picked top 5 because he wouldn’t be able to play until December. New Sixers GM Sam Hinkie made a big impression on Philly by trading away the face of the franchise Jrue Holiday for Noel and a first-round pick in the 2014 draft. Many people are skeptical of this move because Noel is a huge risk, especially since you are trading your best player by far. Today, we are going to look at what Nerlens Noel can bring to the 76ers organization.
Incredible Defensive Ability
In the 2012-2013 college basketball season, Nerlens Noel displayed his fantastic shot-blocking and defensive ability. Averaging 4.4 bpg, Noel was a fierce presence in the paint, something that the Sixers need. The 76ers are in a rebuilding mode, and Nerlens Noel can prove to be a valuable asset for the future. Now the Sixers don’t need to worry about the opposition getting into the paint, because they know they have a dominant center that can keep them out. He also is an excellent rebounder, so when the Sixers want to get out on the run, he can grab the boards and distribute quickly to MCW or others. Averaging 9.5 rebounds a game can give the Sixers that much more of an edge.
Nerlens Noel has been playing basketball his whole life, and has a great understanding of the game. He was even on the same AAU team as new Sixer teammate Michael Carter-Williams. His movement on the floor creates space for others, and he is always in the right position. He has been coached by arguably the best coach in the country in John Kalipary at Kentucky. If the new Sixers head coach that has yet to be named can develop Noel’s knowledge even more, he can be a beast both on the offensive and defensive end.
Nerlens Noel has had past knee problems and will not even appear on the court at the Wells Fargo Center until December. His offensive game needs some work, and he needs to be averaging more than what he averaged at Kentucky (10.5 ppg) if he wants playing time in Philly. If Noel can improve his offensive production as well as his defensive efforts, he can easily be a superstar in the NBA.
Let’s face it, The Philadelphia 76ers are not going to be good this year. But is it for the best? Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel will not be the immediate saviors of Philadelphia. But there is a bright future here in Philly. The Noel trade did give up Holiday, but in return they the best talent in the draft and possibly another lottery pick. If the Sixers are bad this year, they could potentially have 2 lottery picks in arguably the best draft in awhile. In a couple of years, Philadelphia could possibly be home to “The Next Lebron” Andrew Wiggins. That’s right.