06/04/14 8:00 am EST
When you first see Nerlens Noel in person, you can’t help but marvel at the man’s stature. At 6-foot-11, 228 pounds and a 7-foot-4 inch wingspan, he’s one of the tallest and longest players in the NBA.
I’ve had the chance to stand side-by-side with him on several occasions now and I’ve been thoroughly impressed by his measurements and what he can potentially bring to the Sixers’ frontcourt in the future.
On draft night last year, I had written off the idea that the Sixers were capable of landing the big man out of Kentucky and I was admittedly shocked when the Jrue Holiday trade had gone down. Most draft boards had Noel off the board at No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers and, as much as I liked Jrue as a player and a leader, getting two lottery picks for him while shedding salary was a heady move by GM Sam Hinkie. The Sixers also needed to make it clear to its fans that they were parting ways with Andrew Bynum, and despite losing Jrue, getting the top center prospect in the draft did that.