Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Nerlens Noel will head to the organization’s D-League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers, for an injury rehab assignment, the parent club announced. The 22-year-old is slated to practice with the 87ers on Wednesday after Noel previously underwent arthroscopic knee surgery back in October.
The D-League stint is solely for recovering and won’t involve much, if any, game action so it seems.
Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown noted that Noel was poised to be back with the team in the next several weeks and also is adamant on circling back to the injury situation regarding the No. 1 pick in the most recent NBA Draft, forward Ben Simmons.
The former Kentucky Wildcat is in a cluttered frontcourt with fellow big men Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and the aforementioned Simmons. There is a possibility that a stint away from the 76ers could serve as a bit of irony, given Noel apparently wants out-of-town, per ESPN‘s Marc Stein.
“Noel has yet to appear in a game this season after electing to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery last month, but word is he’d still prefer to be shipped to a new address with so many big men to battle for playing time in Philly. Count on the Sixers to accommodate him eventually.”
It can’t be easy for a young player to be promised a turnaround and succumb to mediocrity. It has been an underwhelming first three seasons for Noel and it is even more difficult to be a part of an inept group. There hasn’t been enough “trusting the process,” at least recently, with the 76ers at 4-14 entering Wednesday.