Nerlens Noel hopes to be a part of the Sixers‘ long-term plans, according to Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Noel, technically still a rookie after sitting out last season with an injury, has seen a lot of change during his brief time in Philadelphia. But he hopes the Sixers’ core group will stay together, even if the team brings in someone like Duke’s Jahlil Okafor with a high draft pick. “I really hope nothing happens,” Noel said. “I like this team. I like what we’re building. I hope we can stick together and continue to grow.”
There’s more news from the Atlantic Division:
- Former Sixer Thaddeus Young, now with the Nets, told Moore he hasn’t made up his mind about free agency this summer (Twitter link). “I’m not a free agent [yet],” Young said. “I have to [decline] my option” to become a free agent. Young will make more than $9.7MM next season if he doesn’t opt out.
- An occasional great game helps the Celtics‘ Phil Pressey deal with the frustration of being stuck on the bench, writes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. The second-year guard may not be in Boston’s regular rotation, but he made his presence known with a 10-point, 10-assist performance Friday against Orlando. Coach Brad Stevens has noticed Pressey’s effort. “He works the right way,” Stevens said. “If he doesn’t play he’s the loudest guy on the bench, and if he does play he’s an energizer. And he’s not going to play perfect, but nobody is, and if you can sustain that and not get down and be confident there’s always a role for him. And that’s a great compliment.”
- Pacers coach Frank Vogel admits current Celtics guard Evan Turner was a bad fit in Indiana last season, tweets Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. “If I needed a guy and wanted to put the ball in his hands 30-40 times,” Vogel said, “he would’ve been the guy.” (Twitter link). But the coach added that wasn’t what the Pacers needed last season. (Twitter link).