Today…there is BASKETBALL. More importantly, it’s 76ers basketball that’s being played today. The Summer League in Orlando is tipping off and the 76ers are one of the first games on the schedule. Normally, not many people would care about Summer League, but this is different. It’s the debut of Nerlens Noel, who is 100 percent recovered from his ACL injury and ready to take his first steps in a 76ers uniform.
Nerlens Noel will be playing in his first meaningful basketball game since he was wearing a Kentucky uniform. The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. versus the Orlando Magic. The 76ers Summer League roster for Orlando is as follows (via Philly.com):
No. Player Pos. Ht. College or Country Yr
4 Nerlens Noel C 6-11 Kentucky R
12 Casper Ware G 5-10 Long Beach State 2
16 Ronald Roberts Jr. F 6-8 St. Joseph’s R
18 Aaron Craft G 6-2 Ohio State R
30 Isaiah Sykes G 6-6 Central Florida R
31 Hollis Thompson F 6-8 Georgetown 1
33 Travis Bader G 6-5 Oakland R
39 Jerami Grant F 6-8 Syracuse R
41 JaKarr Sampson G 6-9 St. John’s R
42 Talib Zanna F 6-9 Pittsburgh/Nigeria R
43 Ed Daniel F 6-7 Murray State R
44 Jamelle Hagins F 6-9 Delaware R
45 Melvin Ejim F 6-6 Iowa State R
55 Pierre Jackson G 5-10 Baylor R
From a quick glance, there’s a lot of talent on this roster. Players like Melvin Ejim and Aaron Craft weren’t drafted by the 76ers but will be getting their chance in Orlando. These two had established college careers with their respective teams. The only playerson the roster with actual NBA experience are Hollis Thompson — who spent his rookie season with the 76ers — and Casper Ware. Hollis Thompson averaged 6.0 points in 22.6 minutes per game, while knocking down 40 percent of his shots from deep.
Some of the 76ers draft picks are on the Orlando squad, including Jerami Grant and K.J. McDaniels. McDaniels doesn’t appear on this list, as he was a late addition to the OPSL team. Pierre Jackson will also be with the team, who was acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans in a trade on draft night. Jackson was an absolute firecracker in the D-League, averaging 29.1 points with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League last season.
Travis Bader is a player to keep an eye on during the OPSL. Bader played his college ball at Oakland, tallying 17.2 points per game in four years, while shooting 40 percent from beyond-the-arc. Bader’s chances to make the NBA are slim, but someones going to take a flyer on him if he can consistently knock shots down from deep.
Outside of those players, it’s all about Nerlens Noel tomorrow. It’s his first action in a 76ers uniform and everyone will be watching to see what happens. He’s going to block something tomorrow, a lot of things.
What player are you most excited to watch tomorrow when the 76ers play the Orlando Magic?