You can take at least one name out of the hat for the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year race.
Nerlens Noel suffered a torn ACL in February, but that didn’t stop the New Orleans Pelicans from drafting the seven-footer with the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. After that, the Philadelphia 76ers were so hellbent on bringing Noel to the City of Brotherly Love as the Sixers traded away All-Star guard Jrue Holliday in exchange for Noel and a first-round draft pick in the 2014 NBA Draft — the selection is top-three protected by the Pelicans.
Now that Noel is planted in Philadelphia, the rumor mill is starting to churn. Questions have circulated about just how healthy this first-year center really is after such a major injury. As fate would have it; the 76ers traded for a player that isn’t likely to play the entirety of the 2013 season. Rookie head coach Brett Brown informed media members prior to the 76ers’ preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers that he “doubts” the fact that Noel sees the court his entire rookie campaign.
Meanwhile, Holliday is in New Orleans and the 76ers are going to be forced to start rookie Michael Carter-Williams at point guard. Noel may have a bright future, but trading for an unproven 19-year-old just doesn’t make much sense.