It appears Sixers center Nerlens Noel could be inching closer to breaking into the rotation. He has not played at all this season due surgery to repair inflamed tissue above his left knee on Oct. 24.

Today Philadelphia assigned him to its NBDL affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, as part of Noel's ongoing rehabilitation program for his left knee.

Noel being sent down could mean he is getting closer to playing with the Sixers, but he will not involve any game action for the 87ers.

It will be interesting to see where Noel fits in when he is ready to return with Joel Embiid on a 24-minute restriction and Jahlil Okafor splitting the time with him at the center position, where does that leave Noel when he returns?

Philadelphia took Noel sixth overall in the 2013 draft and has been a defensive force during his time with the Sixers.

Napier is averaging 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 142 career games.