With the start of the preseason, the Philadelphia 76ers are yet to solve the logjam in their frontcourt having three starting centers on their roster. The improving performance of Joel Embiid signifies that the Sixers could trade either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor.
The Philadelphia 76ers decided to limit the minutes of Joel Embiid but there is no doubt that he is set to become their starting center in the upcoming season. In their preseason loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Embiid has the most productive performance, contributing 12 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes inside the court.
“I felt more comfortable tonight,” Embiid said. “I wasn’t stressed. I was free today. I just played my game.”
Of the three Sixers’ center, Nerlens Noel was unhappy battling for the position. Though he is not asking to be traded, there were reports saying that he is ‘very open’ to be traded once the Sixers decide to make that decision.
“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 added.
According to Bradford Doolittle of ESPN, the Boston Celtics are one of the potential landing spots of Nerlens Noel. In the past months, the Celtics are aggressively engaging in the trade market. After acquiring Al Horford via free agency, the Celtics are still eyeing another big man to pair with him.
In August, Nerlens Noel posted a controversial tweet that most people interpreted as his possible trade destination if the Sixers will trade him. The Sixers and the Celtics were frequently mentioned in trade rumors involving centers Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.
The Boston Celtics have a plethora of trade assets to offer to the Sixers in exchange for Noel. In a suggested trade scenario, the Celtics could send a trade package centered on Marcus Smart to Philadelphia. Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said that they are not going for a bad deal just to trade one of their big men.
If the Celtics are serious about acquiring Nerlens Noel, there is a higher possibility that they will be including one of the Brooklyn’s picks in the trade.
Photo courtesy: @nerlensnoel3/Instagram