Comparing to a Star Wars movie, the Philadelphia 76ers looks for that hope in solving the case of Nerlens Noel. Pairing Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid will never work for the 76ers but would sacrifice and not have Noel instead.
Eric Freeman of Balls Don’t Lie writes the 76ers are forcing themselves in pairing Embiid and Okafor together. Between the two Embiid has shown improvement and determination in dominating inside the paint. But it does not matter as the 76ers saw Noel as a growing problem, obviously being frank about his feelings.
For Freeman, clearly the biggest problem is Embiid and Okafor do not fit. He describes Okafor only as a defender even before the team drafted him third overall in 2015. But Freeman notes that offensively, Okafor cannot share the court with Embiid.”
Freeman added a healthy Embiid, the 76ers would have traded Okafor already. But it did not happen, instead, they focus on determining the fate of Noel.
Why Noel looks so dispensable?
Getting back from a knee surgery, Noel has been vocal of the limited playing minutes he gets with the team. To the point, he tells the media of his opinion on the matter which does not sit well with management. Even coach Brett Brown got shocked to hear that Noel is inserted into the active roster which further complicates things.
Brown also explained that he will give Noel limited minutes since he has not properly blended with the team yet. He told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com that playing three big men already creates rotation problems. But Brown zeroed on Noel as a mere backup plan if “something” happens between both Embiid and Okafor.
“Trying to force feed three bigs in a game would be unfair,” Brown said. “I intend on going with two of those three bigs tonight. Nerlens is not in the rotation unless something happens with some type of other circumstance.”
Brown clearly wants Embiid and Okafor inside the paint with Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Ersan Ilyasova as wingmen. That leaves Noel out of the picture since Bryan Colangelo announced the logjam in their roster.
What happens with Noel?
It is imminent the 76ers will deal Noel in a trade before the deadline, no matter how they deny it. And Noel is down with a trade option for him to move on with his current predicament. But which rival team will best suit with Noel? Remains a mystery as the 76ers clearly wants something in return as well for the 6th overall pick in 2013.
Trade rumors will continue to spread out rightful places for Noel to play, but front office gets the final say. Teams have shown interest in Noel, although no formal talks have taken place. Surely, things will likely heat up after the Holidays.
Share your thoughts below about the 76ers trading Noel.
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