Bryan Colangelo clarifies Nerlens Noel benching, says trade not urgent
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Bryan Colangelo clarifies Nerlens Noel benching, says trade not urgent

When the Philadelphia 76ers selected Jahlil Okafor in the 2015 NBA Draft, it turned a few heads. In the 2013 draft the Sixers put together a draft night trade in which they would acquire Nerlens Noel only to acquire, twelve months later, another seven footer in Joel Embiid.

For the first time as 76ers, all three young and talented big men are healthy and raring to go, and the Sixers find themselves with a bit of a logjam.

Nerlens Noel missed the first 23 games of the season due to an inflamed plica above his left knee that required surgery. Noel returned on December 11th for a game against the Detroit Pistons, but would only play 10 minutes off the bench due to leaving in the second quarter with an ankle sprain. He would return five nights later against the Los Angeles Lakers but would only log eight minutes off the bench.

Noel was furious following the loss at home to Lakers and spoke his mind very clearly to the media:

“I mean, I’m too good to be playing eight minutes … that’s crazy, that’s crazy, that’s crazy. Need to figure that s- – – out. F- – – it.”

The following game, Sixers head coach Brett Brown decided not to play Noel at all, sending rumors of a rift between coach and player into an absolute spiral. 76ers GM, Bryan Colangelo, took to the media on Monday and it was clear that his goal was damage control.

Colangelo is being very smart in the way he’s addressing the situation, leaving the door open for a return to the rotation for Noel, but also retaining some of the trade value that the former Kentucky Wildcat may still have.

By giving the impression that Noel is an important member of the Sixers going forward, it will prevent other teams from thinking Colangelo is desperate to ship Noel out of Philly at any cost.

Colangelo didn’t stop there, he went further into damage control;

This is why GM’s get paid the big bucks. With Noel and Brett Brown making huge statements on and off the court, this situation had the potential to spiral completely out of control. It may be something that opposing general managers see right through, but Bryan Colangelo had to make some kind of attempt to save face.

The finality of all these will almost certainly be Nerlens Noel packing his bags and heading off to another NBA franchise. But at least for now, the Sixers seemed to have preserved some kind of value for the former All-Rookie First Teamer.

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