Nerlens Noel was impressive in his Summer League debut for the Sixers, scoring 19 points and looking every bit like one of the top talents to emerge from the 2013 NBA Draft.
He sat out the team’s second game in Orlando as a precaution, but was back at it on Tuesday and continued his strong play, which was more focused on the defensive end this time.
Noel was constantly in the right place at the right time, blocking and altering shots while coming up with some steals at the same time. He managed just eight points in this one, but finished with six rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots in just under 24 minutes of action. He’s also a combined 9-of-9 from the free throw line over these first two games.
His speed, quickness and agility are what perhaps jump out at you the most, especially for a player his size. Should Noel be able to stay healthy and continue his development, no one will question the Sixers decision to sit him out all of last season. And similarly, no one will doubt GM Sam Hinkie’s willingness to take a comparable injury risk in this year’s draft by selecting Joel Embiid with the third overall pick.