Here is some reaction from the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring former Kentucky Wildcats player Nerlens Noel via trade in last night’s NBA Draft.
“When healthy, he will give them a shot-blocking presence that they have not had in quite some time,” Philadelphia Inquirer 76ers beat writer John Mitchell said. “Decades, maybe. He is going to have to bulk up quickly and needs to sprint to the weight room and the protein shakes ASAP. I don’t know what his position is in the NBA.”
“He will be a huge asset with his shot blocking ability,” said Keith Pompey, who also covers the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It’s really impossible to see how Noel will fit on the Sixers roster because it doesn’t appear if their roster is set, yet,” said Philadelphia Daily News beat writer Bob Cooney. “Add in the fact that it is unknown when Noel will be fully recovered from his knee injury and it is impossible to tell. But he brings a great need for the Sixers and that is interior defense. Obviously this team is looking to the future and the fact that they gave up an All-Star guard in Jrue Holiday in order to land Noel means they must think very highly of him.”
“It’s a brilliant move for the Sixers,” Philadelphia Daily News sports columnist John Smallwood said. “They give up a young All-Star point guard in Jrue Holiday, but they’ve been searching for a franchise center since they traded Moses Malone on draft night in 1986. This team’s biggest weakness was that it had no defensive presence in the paint. They get a player who most say was the consensus No.1 had he not been injured. Plus they get a replacement for Holiday in Michael Carter-Williams and more salary cap space for free agency by moving Holiday’s newly signed contract.”
“Nerlens Noel will have a great opportunity to play a lot for the 76ers once he returns from his knee injury,” said Joe DeCamara, a Sixers beat reporter for 97.5 The Fanatic. “The Sixers roster is depleted, and certainly it is clear that General Manager Sam Hinkie is committed to a long-term slow build with Noel, Michael Carter Williams and other players who will come in the lottery over the next couple of years to the Sixers. The Sixers will definitely struggle to win games the next few years, but that’s a gamble for the future the Sixers are obviously willing to make.”
“Nerlens is a talented and unselfish player who can have a unique and powerful impact on a game,” said Marcus O’Neil, who was Noel’s former high school coach at Tilton School. “Being an NBA Lottery pick is a great way to begin your life as an adult. I wish him the best as he pursues success as a professional player. Philadelphia is a great and passionate sports city. What a place to play!”
Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Sam Hinkie addressed the media last night but didn’t comment on Nerlens Noel as the trade has not been finalized by the league offices.