Sixers Evaluating Nerlens Noel’s Role with Team
(Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant)
The log-jam between the Sixers big men might be muted for now, but Nerlens Noel is still the elephant in the room when it comes to the Sixers frontcourt.
What boiled over on Friday night after he played eight-minutes in a loss to the Lakers, was tabled on Sunday with a DNP-coach's decision, but this doesn't mean we've heard the end of this story.
"There is too much on the coaches plate," Noel said on Friday night. "I just want to be on the court playing basketball, I don't really care who I am playing with. I'm not an eight minute player, that's crazy. Need to figure this s--- out."
Noel said he will control what he can control, while he is still in this situation with the Sixers, working on the things he can work on to get better, but there is no question there is a ton of frustration from the former No. 6 overall pick in the draft.
"This whole thing, it doesn't surprise me, it definitely saddens me," Sixers coach Brett Brown admitted on Friday night.
Coach Brown said that Noel won't be in the rotation unless another Sixers big man gets into foul trouble and today Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo said that he would not be forced into a trade, and said he can see all three centers still being here at the end of the season if the right deal isn't out there.
"If they all are, so be it," Colangelo told the media today when asked if he could see an possibility that all three centers would remain on the team. "I will not make a bad deal for this organization."
While many thought a move would seem imminent, Colangelo seemingly suggested that the trio could still be here at the end of the season.
It seems that Colangelo and Brown aren't on the same page.
It sure sounded like Colangelo was back-tracking the comments that Brown made about playing time, saying the situation was fluid, while Brown said Noel was out of the rotation.
So why didn't the Sixers deal with this situation earlier?
It seemed obvious that that there wasn't going to be enough minutes to go around for three very talented, yet different big-men. This issue was something everyone could see coming from a mile away, but the team seemed to use the injury issue to hit the pause button on dealing with the log-jam.
Back on December 2 on the Sports Bash, I spoke with Chris Mannix from Vertical who offered this opinion on the Sixers log-jam.
“I don’t think long-term it’s going to be successful. I think one of those guys (Okafor or Noel) has got to go, and don’t be surprised if you see the Sixers really try to prop up the statistics of Okafor or Noel, play them big minutes and really showcase them for a potential trade.”
Could this be what the Sixers are doing? Playing Okafor more minutes to give him a chance to inflate his minutes, then somewhere down the line giving Noel his chance?
One thing is for sure, until a move is made this is going to remain in the headlines, and over-shadow the team on the floor.