Sixers’ Nerlens Noel upset at team’s impasse at center
Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel says he doesn't understand how the team will possibly start the season with three centers on the roster.
Currently, Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor all will be fighting for the starting position at center after each being a lottery selection of the 76ers from 2013–15.
“I think it's just silly … this situation that we are in now with three starting centers,” Noel said to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer.”
“We all get along great on the court and off the court,” Noel added. “But at the end of the day, it's like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn't make any sense.
Noel says he is not demanding a trade or asking for any of his teammates to be traded.
“I think at the end of the day, again, you have three starting-caliber centers. And it's just not going to work to anybody's advantage having that on the same team,” Noel said. “That's how I'm looking at it. I'm not opposed to anything, but things need to be situated.”
Noel is in the the final season of his four-year rookie deal, and is set to make $4.4 million in 2016–17. Philadelphia has until Oct. 31 to extend his deal.
If the team declines, Noel will become a restricted free agent on July 1, with the 76ers having the right to match any deal from another team.
Noel averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 67 games last season.
– Scooby Axson