76ers will hope for Noel to develop into real star.
Our comprehensive team-by-team preview of the Eastern Conference continues as we take a closer look at the Philadelphia 76ers who have been tipped for a struggle this year.
Last season, the 76ers went 34-48 and finished just outside the play-off places despite not having new recruit Andrew Bynum available for the entire year.
Coach Doug Collins has departed as has Bynum, but perhaps more concerning was the decision to trade Jrue Holiday on draft-night to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The NBA’s second-youngest All-Star has progressed well over the last few years, and it was felt that he had integral role to play in Philadelphia for years to come.
Nevertheless, the decision was taken to trade him in return for the No.6 pick, which Philadelphia used on Nerlens Noel.
Former San Antonio Spurs assistant Brett Brown is the coach in charge as training camp begins, but much of the focus will be on how Noel is recovering from his ACL injury.
Arguably the best prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft prior to his setback, Noel could develop into a real star as the video below demonstrates his all-round ability but particularly in shot-blocking and steals.
While he was impressive in his college years, if he can somehow translate that into the NBA, then the 76ers will be delighted with their acquisition moving forward, fitness permitting.
Michael Carter-Williams is also a promising young individual who will look to impress in the point guard role, while there are various players on the current roster who are set to become free agents in the summer.
This can work in either two ways in that they impress and earn a future at the franchise, or Philadelphia choose to trade with their values high and attack the draft next summer.
The 76ers are undoubtedly inexperienced, and coupled with a new coaching staff as well as an arguably weakened roster, they are rightly tipped to struggle this season.
Philadelphia 76ers predicted finish: 14th
Front court: 6/10
Back court: 5/10