Sixers GM Sam Hinkie deserves credit for seeing the potential of Nerlens Noel, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. With a torn ACL causing the projected first overall pick to slide in the 2013 draft, Hinkie took a gamble by trading Jrue Holiday and the rights to Pierre Jackson to New Orleans for the rights to Noel and a 2014 first-rounder. That risk is finally paying off, as Noel has emerged as a Rookie of the Year candidate and a solid building block for the team’s future.
There’s more this morning from Philadelphia:
- Inactivity is just the latest challenge facing Henry Sims as he tries to find a long-term spot in the NBA, according to Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News. Sims is with his third organization after going undrafted in 2012. Lately, his playing time has been diminished as the Sixers get a better look at Thomas Robinson and Furkan Aldemir, but Sims is taking the demotion in stride. “I’ve been in this league, and for the short amount of time I’ve been in it, I’ve been through it all — trades, bench, starting, sitting in a suit — I just look at it as another thing that I’ve just got to be a pro about,” Sims said. “I’m just trying to sharpen my fundamentals so when my name’s called, I’m going to be ready.”
- Aldemir has had to make his own adjustments since joining the Sixers December 15th, Cooney writes in a separate story. With the Turkish native making $2.7MM this year and $2.8MM next season, the team has increased Aldemir’s playing time to see what he can do. “Every day, I’m working on my individual things — my shooting, my post moves — and I think I improved my body and my skills,” he said. ” I want to use this opportunity. Coach [Brett Brown] is giving me some minutes and I don’t want to break their trust, and I don’t want to break my confidence.”
- A proposed change to the NBA draft lottery that would discourage teams like the Sixers from tanking has caught the attention of Tom Moore of Calkins Media. The proposal would give the three teams with the worst records picks four through six. The other 11 teams in the lottery would compete for picks one through three and seven through 14. That would give lower-level teams incentive to win late in the season to preserve their hopes for the top overall choice.