We interrupt a few weeks of neutral Sixers news to inject some debate back into the conversation. As the numbers people see it, Nerlens Noel is going to be more valuable than Jahlil Okafor over the next five seasons, and it's not going to be particularly close.
The data-mavens at Five Thirty Eight ran out an update for their CARMELO projection system today, and the numbers weren't friendly to Okafor. To the charts!
The top comparisons drawn aren't great. Michael Beasley, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and (gulp) Eddy Curry round out the top-three, with DeMarcus Cousins providing a window of hope in fourth.
Noel's future, on the other hand, is decidedly rosier in the eyes of the model:
Whereas Okafor is projected to be a minus-player through at least 2023, Noel's defensive contributions have him on the right side of the ledger already. His comparisons are similarly erratic; Nene and Derrick Favors in first and fourth aren't too shabby, but Lonnie Shelton and Stromile Swift in second and third aren't super encouraging.
Disclaimers are necessary about the uncertainty of future projections -- and this is the same site that said Andrew Wiggins would be James Posey -- but it might provide some perspective on what a "neutral" formula says about the respective games of the Sixers big men. PREPARE FOR BATTLE!