This is how to use the D-League.
Nerlens Noel has missed the start of the season in Philadelphia rehabbing his left knee, and now that he is close to returning he is going to get his first run with the Sixers’ D-League affiliate in Delaware before coming up to the big club, according to a report from Marc Spears of ESPN. His co-worker Marc Stein added this.
The Sixers confirmed the move later on Wednesday.
This kind of rehab assignment is common in baseball and makes sense here. The challenge for coach Brett Brown is going to be getting enough run for Noel in a crowded frontcourt rotation in Philly with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric, and Ersan Ilyasova. Why not at least get Noel right with the Deleware 87ers then send him up to the big club when it’s time.
Brown needs to get Noel some run to showcase him — the Sixers are looking to trade someone from their frontcourt and Noel wants to be the guy out the door. That likely happens before the February trade deadline.