Welcome back to “Who’s This Guy?” a look at the 2013-14 Sixers Roster. Yesterday we introduced you to Arnett Moultrie. Today we get in-depth (sort of) with one of the best players in the NBA four years from now, Nerlens Noel.
Name: Nerlens Noel
2013-14 Salary (per Basketball-Reference.com): $ 2.7 Million
2012-13 Stats (at Kentucky): 31.9 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.4 BPG, 2.1 SPG, 1.6 APG
How Acquired: Trade with New Orleans for Jrue Holiday and the rights to Pierre Jackson. Sixers also received Pelicans 2014 1st round pick.
Pros: Noel is a physical freak, and I say that with all due respect. Before his injury he looked like a more unpolished Anthony Davis with a little bit more of a scoring touch. He can run fast and jump high (as of that game against Flordia last season at least) and as a result was one of the most feared defenders in all of the NCAA last season. Almost five blocks a game! That’s insane, right? Once he figures out the NBA, Noel can turn into one of those superstar defenders. When was the last time the Sixers had anyone like that? (Don’t say George Lynch.)
Cons: He tore his ACL and won’t be back until at least mid-season, he says Christmas, but there really is no reason to rush him back. He’s slight and can get bullied easily by the Carlos Boozers and Al Horfords of the world. His offensive game isn’t strong and his poor footwork has been cited as a detriment to his development as a pro. It is a much different game, and he’ll no longer be the best athlete on the court every time he suits up, so he’ll have to adjust to that, many players never do.
His draft position was hurt by his injury and rumors that he hung around with some really, really bad freakin dudes. Are you fucking kidding me? A piece written in Forbes made a vague comparison between Noel and Aaron Hernandez. Teams didn’t want to touch Noel because once you give him money he’ll turn into a PCP smokin’, rifle totin’ gang-affiliated psychopath, so you know, buyer beware. Seriously, the Hernandez situation is an exception. Sure, lots of athletes have friends who get into trouble, but how often does the athlete lose his mind the way Hernandez did? It’s a bullshit comparison and nothing to worry about until there seems to be a problem. Here, watch these highlights.
Tomorrow: Evan Turner