Then Nerlens Noel started working out with teammates and that got people wondering if he will play in a handful of games before the end of the season.
But Noel is starting to really impress at Sixers practices, Lynam adds.
“The first thing that I have fallen in love with is that he is beyond competitive,” (Sixers coach Brett) Brown said after Thursday’s practice. “There is a dog in him, a toughness in him that I misjudged…
“He is a fierce competitor and that is the number one quality for me that makes someone special,” Brown said. “Then you get into the athleticism. He has a bounce. People that can block a shot, hit the floor and go back up are special and he can do it with both his right hand and left hand.”
The plan all along was to keep him out all season, no matter how much he wanted to return.
The Sixers are going to have a couple high picks in this draft (theirs, very likely top three, plus the Pelicans’ first rounder, which is top five protected) and that is where the hope comes in. You can pair Michael Carter-Williams with Noel and a couple of lottery picks… that’s a lot of losses next season but a potentially very interesting young core. One that can mature and grow together.
That plan can’t be rushed. It’s going to take time, which means no Noel until the Summer League.
But that is going to be one intriguing Sixers Summer League squad.