Sixers to introduce Nerlens Noel Tuesday in a press conference at PCOM
Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie and Noel will be at PCOM for the early-afternoon presser, making official – at least from the Sixers' end – the transaction made June 27 on draft night. The Sixers sent Jrue Holiday and the rights to their 2013 second-round draft choice to the New Orleans Pelicans for Noel and a top-five-protected 2014 first-round draft selection.
The Pelicans introduced Holiday, a 22-year-old All-Star point guard, in a press conference July 12.
A number of factors contributed to the trade hold-up. Hinkie and the Sixers brass had been in Florida for the team's involvement in the Orlando Pro Summer League, all the while Holiday – who was married recently – was on his honeymoon and therefore couldn't sign trade papers. Last week, Hinkie was in Las Vegas for a summer league out that way, thus pushing any possible announcement to this week.
Noel, a 19-year-old, 6-10 center, has not played competitively since tearing the ACL in his left knee Feb. 12. He's not expected to be healthy enough to debut for the Sixers until December at the earliest.
Widely anticipated to be taken first overall in the 2013 NBA draft, Noel slid to No. 6 due to health concerns related to his knee surgery. The Pelicans selected him sixth overall. Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in 24 games in his only season at Kentucky, earning SEC Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year distinctions.
Noel is expected to be a key contributor to the Sixers' rebuilding process that's being steered by Hinkie. The team has only one veteran (Thaddeus Young) under contract beyond the upcoming season. The Sixers would have to make a qualifying offer of $8.7 million in order to make counteroffers to Evan Turner in the offseason, while Jason Richardson -- who's recovering from new surgery -- has a player option for the 2014-15 campaign. Every other veteran on the roster has an expiring contract.