Jul 23, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; First round draft pick center Nerlens Noel addresses the media as 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie listens during a press conference at PCOM. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers: Nerlens Noel out at least till Christmas

On draft day the Philadelphia 76ers decided to pull the trigger on a trade that would send Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in return for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick. The team knew that the shot-blocking center is coming off an ACL tear and would not be ready to go for training camp, and when Noel was introduced it was confirmed that he will not return until Christmas, at the earliest. Sixers GM Sam Hinkie’s and the team’s priority is Noel’s long-term health.

Noel is likely to be out until around Christmas at the earliest, and Hinkie would not say whether he could miss the entire season, only that the player’s long-term health is by far the most important priority.

“Nothing else matters as much as that matters,” Hinkie said. “So as this plays out, we will give him all the resources necessary and all the best medical people we can put in front of him, both here and in Birmingham [Ala.], where he’s been doing his rehab, to try to get him back on the floor, to be the best player he can be for himself and for the Sixers.”

(via Deleware Online)

For the Sixers, this doesn’t really change much and the more time Noel misses, the better. Without Nerlens in the lineup the Sixers will be even worse, thus ensuring a high draft pick in a stacked 2014 class, while also making sure that their prospect returns 100% healthy.

Tags: Nerlens Noel Philadelphia 76ers

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