Bryan Colangelo: Nerlens Noel deserves some empathy
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Bryan Colangelo: Nerlens Noel deserves some empathy

Nerlens Noel is frustrated with the Philadelphia 76ers, because he has no idea what direction the franchise is going in.

For the moment the team is still transitioning, and things aren’t set in stone.

Noel missed a year with an injury and returned only to find himself playing alongside another drafted center in Jahlil Okafor.

To complicate matters more, Joel Embiid who has also been out two years because of injuries and surgery is returning to play the center position as well.

It would make sense to move at least one of the players, which may happen eventually, but the Sixers are heading into training camp with all three big men on the roster.

Okafor’s answer to the logjam dilemma?

We’re all competitors. We all want to play.

While it’s great to have depth on the roster, you have to believe it will negatively impact one of the players’ production.

Noel is happy to be in Philadelphia but much more pessimistic about the situation because he has no power to demand or create any changes.

I don’t think it makes too much sense to come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don’t see a way of it working. It’s just a logjam.

The catch with Embiid is, he has yet to play a single NBA game, and his minutes will be restricted throughout the season which makes him ready but not totally ready.

General Manager Bryan Colangelo has a plan to transition from losing to winning more, and wants to accelerate the process this year, but didn’t mention how he would go about doing so.

In the meantime, he sympathizes with Noel and spoke about it to reporters during the team’s media day.

I think that anybody that has gone through the last three years deserves some form of empathy.

It’s understandable. I think Nerlens did a pretty good job sizing up what we had.

I don’t know if I was affected at all by Nerlens’ comments or the players were affected at all. Anybody who’s been (through) the last (three) years deserves some empathy, the fans included.

Embiid’s long-term health status is a question mark, but just seeing the court is a necessary step he has to take.

Okafor doesn’t know what to expect but is committed to the team’s turnaround, and that is what Noel has to look at first.

While the Sixers work out balancing their roster and putting the pieces together, the team is in a much better position than it has been the last few years.

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