Two Philadelphia 76ers might be suiting up in uniforms pretty soon, and both are rookies. Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel are expected to be back sooner than expected; both will be a welcomed change, but unnecessary in a time of rebuilding.
Both players’ return would certainly be welcomed if the Sixers are to contend for a playoff spot, but they should be encouraged to take their time in recovering. The Sixers are playing poorly with their seven game losing streak. The return of Carter-Williams and Noel might not be a bright idea for a team looking to draft a franchise player this summer.
Carter-Williams’ return is expected. Noel’s return is a surprise, even if it’s just speculation from his word of mouth. Noel told NBA Radio that “there’s a possibility” of his return.
Noel may want to entertain the idea of returning, as well as push the Sixers’ brass to have him play. The Sixers, on the other hand, have the final say and would most likely hold off on the idea of his return. They learned from the Andrew Bynum debacle, as well as Jason Richardson, that forcing a comeback has long-term consequences.
His inside presence is surely needed for a team lacking a defensive figure, just not at the cost of drafting Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins. The Sixers are the second worst team in the East with a 7-19 record.
Starting center Spencer Hawes is holding his own, so Noel’s return isn’t needed.
The timetable for Carter-Williams’ return is uncertain, but may be delayed if the Sixers are cautious; he’s been recovering from a knee infection.
The Sixers appear to be throwing in the towel by resting some of their key players.