In the nearing start of the 2016-17 NBA season, it remains questionable on who the Philadelphia 76ers will use as their starting center. Will it be Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, or Jahlil Okafor?
A few weeks before preseason, the Philadelphia 76ers have not yet solved the logjam in their frontcourt. As of now, the Sixers have three starting caliber centers – Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor. General manager Bryan Colangelo admitted that they were not comfortable having three centers on their team.
However, he also said that they are not making a bad deal just to move one of their big men. On Wednesday, the Sixers had the second day of their training camp. This will be vital as their performance in the training camp could be used to evaluate their role next season.
According to Rich Hoffman of Philly Voice, Joel Embiid looked ‘rusty’ on the second day of the training camp. He has made multiple turnovers that signify that he is not yet ready to be the starting center next season.
At some point, this is expected for a player who missed playing basketball for two years after suffering injury. Joel Embiid admitted that he is still adjusting to the flow of the game, but coach Brett Brown said that the 7-foot-2 center is impressive.
On the second day of training camp, the Sixers are divided into two teams – Blue and White. For the White team, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless teamed up against Nerlens Noel, Richaun Holmes, Hollis Thompson, Nik Stauskas, and Sergio Rodriguez of Blue team.
It is very noticeable that the White team mostly consists of players projected to start for the Sixers next season. However, coach Brett Brown has not released his official starting lineup and there is a possibility that it will be based on his players’ performance in the training camp.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, Jahlil Okafor was sidelined after suffering a right knee soreness. In this situation, it’s easy to say why the Sixers are not aggressively shopping their big men. Having three talented centers on their team will do more good than harm, especially if one of them suffered an injury.
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