Sixers Notes: Okafor, Embiid, Noel

Executives from other teams who’ve closely studied rebuilding strategies estimate that the Sixers would have to pursue what they’re doing for six or seven years before the odds of a successful turnaround would become highly favorable, reports Zach Lowe of Philadelphia’s lack of willingness to sign veterans has irked agents, as has the team’s lack of tact when waiving players, as Lowe details. The Sixers assured Jorge Gutierrez they’d keep him after the trade that brought him to the team last season, but they waived him one day later while he was on the team bus, sources tell Lowe. The ESPN scribe is nonetheless skeptical that agents will keep their clients from signing with the team when it starts to win, as at least one agent has reportedly promised. See more from Philly:

  • A slowed-down version of the video of a second altercation allegedly involving Jahlil Okafor on the night of November 25th shows that Okafor didn’t hit a man, an attorney for Okafor claimed Friday on WIP’s Mike & Ike Show, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The incident, one of several in which Okafor has reportedly been implicated of late, helped prompt the Sixers to issue a two-game suspension.
  • Coach Brett Brown was asked if the team would benefit by a stronger veteran presence on the team, and he responded, “It’s hard to argue why not,” Noah Coslov of SiruisXMNBA relays (Twitter link).
  • Joel Embiid has grown to 7’2″, Brown told reporters, including Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link). Embiid was measured at 7’0″ at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • The jury is still out on whether or not Okafor and Nerlens Noel can coexist on the court together, with one NBA executive noting simply that the duo won’t ever mesh, Cooney relays in a separate piece. “They can’t play together,” the executive told Cooney. “I just don’t see it. Watch them defensively. Their instincts are both to defend the paint, because that is exactly what they’ve been doing all their lives. But here’s the problem. When the Sixers miss a shot or commit a turnover, both Noel and Okafor run back on defense and instinctively run to the rim, which they have been taught all their lives. Problem is, there is a Dirk Nowitzki or LaMarcus Aldridge or Kevin Love spotting up, waiting to get a wide-open shot. I don’t know if they can figure that out. The advantage to it is that Brett [Brown] has been around this situation before when he was in San Antonio and they were figuring out how to best get along with Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Of course, those are two Hall of Fame players.
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