This was always the issue with the “Process”, even at it’s Hinkie roots and not just the watered-down Colangelo version: These assets time out.
By refusing to invest in a supporting cast until they’re sure they have that superstar player, they’ve basically let Noel’s value expire. They would either have had to trade him for more value before their newer assets (draft picks, Embiid) came into focus, or do what they did now, which is lose him for next to nothing.
Their unwillingness to treat Noel as anything more than an asset in storage is also probably a big contributor to the fact that there was no way he was sticking around this offseason. Maybe if they’d committed to him in any way, he’d be open to some sort of hometown discount, but that’s out the door.
So now, the 1st round track record of the Process Sixers (not going to lay blame for MCW on them) is: 1 timed out asset in Noel, 1 blown pick in Okafor, 1 potentially serviceable question mark in Saric (look at his BR page before you accuse me of underrating him), 1 high-promise, bad-luck pick in Simmons, and 1 potential superstar in Embiid who a. hasn’t proven he can stay on the court and b. IS ONLY UNDER CONTRACT FOR ONE MORE SEASON.
They’re still not in a bad place overall, but I think this highlights how lucky they’d need to be for the unadulterated Process to actually work.