On the Beat: Noel, Stauskas, Embiid Options Selected
The 76ers formally announced this morning that the team exercised the fourth-year contract option for Nerlens Noel, and also third-year contract options for both Nik Stauskas and Joel Embiid.
After a left knee ACL tear sidelined him for the first season he was eligible to play, Noel rose to the occasion last year, averaging 9.9 points per game, and leading all first-year players with an average of 8.1 rebounds per game. He also posted 142 blocks, which ranked eighth overall in the league.
“I’m just blessed to be extended, and be part of this organization,” Noel, the number six pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, said following Friday’s shoot-around at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He added that he is encouraged by the vision that President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie has for the team.
“Just how relentless Sam has been to bring talent to this team. He really stuck with some guys that were working on developing, including myself. He’s surrounded this team with good, positive players that are about the team, and want to move forward with it.”
Stauskas - the eighth pick in the June 2014 NBA Draft - has been slowed by knee and back injuries since the opening of training camp, but was a consensus All-American his sophomore season at Michigan. He posted 4.4 points while playing just under 15.5 minutes per game for Sacramento last year. The Sixers acquired him via a July trade.
“I’m excited,” said Stauskas. “It means a lot... to extend that even though I haven’t really played that much this pre-season. It kind of shows the confidence in me, and I appreciate that. I’m just trying to show that I’m willing to work hard, and make this work in the long-run.”
Embiid is expected to miss a second straight season, following the right foot operation he had in August. He was the third overall pick in 2014 after averaging 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 28 games during his freshman season at Kansas. He also blocked 72 shots that year.