BECAUSE of the sometimes complicated process involved with finalizing trades in the NBA, it took 2 weeks for the New Orleans Pelicans to introduce newly acquired former All-Star guard Jrue Holiday to the fans and media in the "Big Easy."

The Pelicans had a news conference for Holiday, whom they acquired in a draft-night trade from the Sixers, last Thursday.

Here in South Philadelphia, today marks a month since the Sixers picked up University of Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel, the sixth overall pick in the draft, for Holiday.

But while we all know Noel is actually a Sixer, it might as well still be a murky rumor, considering how little effort the organization has thus far shown in promoting what happened.

Noel could be the Sixers' most important draft-day acquisition since they selected Allen Iverson No. 1 overall in 1996, but he has yet to be formally introduced by the Sixers.

But if hints coming from the Sixers are accurate, that could change early next week, when they will hold a news conference to present Noel to Philly.

By then, president/general manager Sam Hinkie will be back from Nevada, where he is scouting players in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Heck, the Sixers might even have a head coach by then and make it a joint presser.

Still, this is merely the latest indication that the new Sixers' management does not yet have a solid grasp on the important role that publicity and the dissemination of information - just throw some bones, not any master trade secrets - can play in trying to restore the relevancy of this franchise.

A team, particularly one that has fallen on difficult times, has to understand how the Philadelphia sports-news cycle works and how it can be used to one's advantage.

The Eagles under former team president Joe Banner, were masters at getting the biggest bang out of the news cycle. They knew how to time things to generate their own headlines or horn in on somebody else's.

When you are in a heavily contested sports/entertainment market such as Philadelphia, the only thing worse than being talked about, even if it is bad, is not being talked about at all.

If Philly doesn't talk about you, it generally means Philly doesn't care about you, and that's a bad way to be when there are so many different choices in the market.

Right now, because of the lingering bad will created by last season's Andrew Bynum fiasco, the Sixers are no better than fourth in the Philadelphia sports-interest hierarchy. They might even be fifth, behind the Union.

When you're in a situation like the Sixers', an opportunity to dominate a news cycle cannot be passed up. That's what the Sixers have done the last 2 days.

Hinkie, or someone high in the Sixers' chain of command, should have noticed that yesterday or today would have been the best opportunity to get maximum exposure out of a Noel news conference.

With the Phillies off until tomorrow because of the All-Star break, yesterday and today are two of the deadest sports-news days on the calendar.

Had the Sixers brought in Noel on either day, they would have had the lead sports story in Philadelphia - print, television, radio and blogs.

Rarely does a team coming off one of its most disappointing seasons get a "softball" opportunity to monopolize the sports news.

Nothing is going on these 2 days, yet the Sixers whiffed.

Next week, the Phillies have a critical six-game road trip through St. Louis and Detroit that could set up their fate for the rest of the season.

The Eagles will open the first training camp of the Chip Kelly era on Monday, when rookies and select veterans (i.e., the quarterbacks) report to the NovaCare Complex.

You tell me where introducing a rookie everyone knows has been coming for a month ranks in interest with what could be the end of the Phillies' season and what will be the start of the Eagles'.

What could have been a big splash for the Sixers will likely be just a blip on the radar, and they can only blame themselves.

NBA paperwork prevented Hinkie from even whispering about the Holiday/Noel trade until everything went through.

I'm sure the Sixers would have liked nothing more than to have had Noel standing next to draft picks Michael Carter-Williams and Arsalan Kazemi at the introductory conference the day after draft night.

But that's no excuse for missing out on the opportunity for maximum exposure they could have had by introducing Noel this week, had someone just paid a little more attention to the sports calendar.

The sad thing is that whenever a crumb of information has come from the Sixers since Hinkie took over 2 1/2 months ago, fans have used those limited opportunities to go on discussion boards at Philly.com, other websites and to sports-talk radio.

Sixers fans clearly want to talk about this team. If only Hinkie and the Sixers would give them something to talk about.

Columns: ph.ly/Smallwood

Blog: ph.ly/DNL