Nerlens Noel's impressive numbers that link him to David Robinson
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Nerlens Noel’s impressive numbers that link him to David Robinson

Nerlens Noel

You might not realize how rare it is for a player to do what Nerlens Noel is.

That’s because you hear more about the Philadelphia 76ers trying, and failing, to trade the former No. 6 overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft.

What Noel did in his first two seasons in the NBA has never been matched, and only David Robinson can compare.

That probably comes as a pretty big surprise to most.

It’s easy to overlook the statistical accomplishment of 76ers personnel in recent years, considering the team’s preference to losing rather than winning. It’s been a mess in Philly, there’s no way around that. But, burried in the fray may be one of the most unique players in the league.

Steals and blocks don’t equate perfectly to a great defender, but through two years Noel is showing that he can be elite on that end. He’s never going to be Robinson, but he may be able to blossom into one of the best defenders in the league.

Questions mostly surround Noel offensively. He averaged 11.1 points per game last season and improved his shooting from 46.2 to 52.1 percent. He doesn’t have much of an outside game or post-up, but it’s always a good sign when a young player can improve their shooting percentages that much after one season.

Noel’s time in Philly may not last much longer. They probably need to trade one of their young bigs, especially if Joel Embiid ever gets back on the floor. Noel may be the odd man out, but not because he isn’t a productive player. Another team may very well find themselves a gem in acquiring Noel.

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