Word around the league is that the Philadelphia 76ers are closer to a deal involving one or both of their big men, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. A perfect trade partner seen are the Minnesota Timberwolves, which has been in NBA rumors the entire 2016 offseason because of their loaded point guard rotation.
This summer, the Sixers drafted Ben Simmons and the Timberwolves got Kris Dunn in the 2016 NBA Draft. Both teams are now laden with potential star players at the forward/center and guard positions, respectively, that both teams are reportedly aiming for a “balanced roster” before the 2016-2017 NBA Season begins.
Zach Harper of CBS Sports had his take on the Sixers’ situation saying that the Sixers big men “simply won’t fit together”. Aside from Simmons, Noel and Okafor, Philadelphia will also feature Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, two rookies that have the potential to become regular starters in the league.
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With the dilemma in Philadelphia’s frontcourt rotation, Harper suggests a trade of Ricky Rubio, Shabazz Muhammad and a future second round pick for Nerlens Noel and Hollis Thompson to fuel the NBA rumors that a deal from the Sixers is happening soon.
This would depend on how the Timberwolves sees Rubio, if he’s the long-term starter for the team or if they’d go with rookie Dunn, who is being pegged as the next star guard in his draft class.
For the Sixers, this trade makes sense since they don’t have a starting point guard for the future. Rubio has matured already and is a “pass-first” guard than can maximize Philadelphia’s big men, who are ready to contribute starting the new season.
The Timberwolves are one of the up and coming teams in the Western Conference. Getting Noel, whom they will start immediately alongside young star Karl-Anthony Towns, will mean a first five that is capable of challenging other top teams in the West.
If they get the big man from Philadelphia, Minnesota will have a starting five of Towns, Noel, Wiggins, Dunn and Zach LaVine. They still need bench help but it’s a good start for a rebuilding team.
Among all the NBA rumors with more than a month to go before the regular season, this Sixers-Timberwolves trade makes most sense since they will get the balanced roster they want for the new season.
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