Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers has been frequently mentioned in various trade rumors in the past months. Recently, the 22-year-old center expressed his sentiment over the Sixers’ crowded frontcourt. Is he demanding a trade?
The arrival of Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid created a logjam in the Sixers’ frontcourt. In the past months, rumors continue to swirl that either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor will be moved to another team in exchange for quality guards.
As the 2016-17 NBA season draws near, there are reports saying that Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo was not aggressively shopping their big men.
“But the notion that we were out shopping any of them and aggressively pushing to make a deal is not the case,” Colangelo said. “We certainly listened because a lot of people thought we were in a corner.
“We never felt like we were in that corner. We feel like we’ve got three talented players that we are going to obviously let work itself out.”
The Sixers currently have three starting caliber centers on their team, namely Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid. The 2015-16 NBA season proved that Noel and Okafor cannot coexist, resulting in the team to suffer at both ends.
According to Keith Pompey of Philly.com, Nerlens Noel is not happy with the current situation of the Sixers.
“I think it’s just silly . . . this situation that we are in now with three starting centers,” Noel said on the eve of the Sixers’ media day. “With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer.”
“I think something needs to happen,” Noel said.
At some point, Noel has a reason to say such thing. Keeping three starting caliber centers while having a poor backcourt does not make sense for the Sixers. Also, keeping the three big men will be a waste of talented players in the league.
Nerlens Noel has been linked to the Boston Celtics this offseason. Though the Celtics already have Al Horford, they are still looking for a quality rim protector to boost their frontcourt. The Celtics are one of the NBA teams who have plenty of trade assets.
In a suggested trade scenario, the Celtics could send a trade package centered on Marcus Smart in Philadelphia. Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said that he will not make a bad deal just to move one of their big men. If the Celtics are serious about acquiring Noel, there is a possibility that the Sixers will demand one of the Brooklyn’s picks.
As of now, there is no official confirmation on whom the Sixers’ starting center will be next season. If the Sixers struggle again, trading at least one of their big men is inevitable.
Photo courtesy: @nerlensnoel/Instagram