Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo decided it was time to “meet the press” the other day. It is the first time he has done so this season. And it was mainly because of Nerlens Noel.
The reality is that Noel is right that something should have been done last summer to break the logjam at the 5 spot. He is less right to have griped in public about it, trying to force a trade. Colangelo decided — and understandably so — that he needed to demonstrate his authority and squelch the complaint. So Noel has been benched and there Colangelo was, trying to smooth things over with the press.
Colangelo was in full damage control mode. He admitted that Noel has proven himself and deserves respect. He said that he is now giving Noel a chance to “show his stuff” in practice. That this is the first time the team has had the chance to “evaluate” his fit with the roster. In other words, play ball with me, and I will help you. It doesn’t matter whether this is BS, it is the word from the bossman. It is the deal on the table for Noel.
Will Noel take him up on it? He really has no choice. If he does anything else, he gets a reputation for having a bad attitude and his trade value tanks. Does that mean Noel will go along with this? Perhaps.
Let’s hope so. But I still think that Colengelo blew it last summer. This unhappy situation could have been prevented. Why didn’t he prevent it? My guess is that he was afraid to make the deal that he should have made because he would have been criticized for not getting “fair value”. Guess what. The trade terms are not going to get much better the longer he waits.