The 2016 Rio Olympics is about winning medals and making the podium for athletes and teams for their respective countries. For the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s also about scouting one of their prized rookies, who will see action for the team next NBA season.
The Sixers are closely watching Croatia’s Dario Saric’s play in the Rio Olympics and could make Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor available in trades if the Croatian continues to show maturity in his game.
Lots of NBA rumors have involved both Okafor and Noel as the odd men out in the Sixers’ big men rotation earlier in this 2016 offseason.
With the presence of 2016 NBA Draft No. 1 pick Ben Simmons plus the return of Joel Embiid and the arrival of Saricm, Philadelphia has a good chance of trading one of their big men for a wing man or a point guard to get a more balanced roster next season.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said in recent interviews that they are looking for a good deal and attempt to have a complete team before the start of the season. A Philadelphia trade for a guard could be fast tracked if Saric continues to display his good form in Brazil as Sixers’ scouts could decide that he is NBA-ready at this point of his pro career.
Saric had 5 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in their 72-70 upset win over Spain on Sunday to show his overall versatility for Croatia.
NBA rumors of trades between the Sixers and Boston Celtics were reported during the time of the rookie draft. Boston has lots of guards, including Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier and rookie Jaylen Brown and Philadelphia might be interested.
Other speculations have the Sixers and Minnesota Timberwolves linked with Minnesota possibly offering one of Ricky Rubio, Kris Dunn, Tyus Jones or Zach LaVine.
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Both the Celtics and Timberwolves want to add another promising big man to their front court and they’d be set for the next few years if they can add Noel or Okafor to pair with Al Horford or Karl-Anthony Towns, respectively.
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