While the Philadelphia 76ers are juggling on the question of who they are going to end up trading among their big men Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, or, if they should ship out both to relieve the team’s odd pieces that creates a logjam of big men, Nerlens Noel seems decided on the issue with an urgency.
A Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel tandem has already been proven to come up with negative results. Simply stated, these two big men’s games don’t complement each other. The return of Joel Embiid back from injury means either of them could be tested alongside him, simultaneously on court, and the team could get more ideas on which options to pursue.
According to a report by CBS Nerlens Noel said, “I don’t see a way of it working. It’s just a logjam. You’ve got three talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night and three centers can’t play 30 minutes a night. That’s that.”
“Things need to be situated. Obviously, somebody’s got to be moved around. It’s a tough situation, but I can only say so much because I have no say and no power.”
It’s a scenario that anyone who follows basketball understands, especially among the management team, but Nerlens Noel chooses to air out his frustrations nonetheless, and there are concerns that this kind of attitude could create a negative stir within the locker room.
“Wait and see? I can’t say I do understand that. I just don’t think it makes too much sense to come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position, I don’t know what there is to wait and see.” Nerlens Noel added.
Patience is a virtue Nerlens Noel seems to lack, however, he’s been very professional despite his displeasure, and has showed his more likeable side during the Sixers media day.
NBA rumors circulate that a Nerlens Noel trade may not have to wait too long, as the Boston Celtics may send Kelly Olynyk for him.
Kelly Olynyk also plays the center position, but he has the shooting range needed to unclog the lanes for the Sixers, which allows their forwards to enhance their game.
Like Noel, Kelly Olynyk is young, but is a threat from behind the arc. He shot 40.5% from three last season with 2.2 drives per game in 2015-16. He is reliable in terms of creating more floor spacing, and as a center he can shoot, pump-fake, and drive to the basket.
Meanwhile, Boston will receive much value for Nerlens Noel’s defensive game. They’ve been lacking that since they lost Kendrick Perkins. Noel will serve as a good rim protector and an effective rebounder. His addition would solve Boston’s defensive woes, and they could end up as among the top 3 defensive teams.
Could this NBA rumor on a Nerlens Noel trade be a solution to his raving?
Much will depend on how the Sixers play Ben Simmons. Will he be running their game as a point guard, or will be a point forward? Giving him the latter position, another big man in the front court may not work well even with Olynyk’s shooting ability.
On the other hand, Boston has been closely monitoring their cap space in the hopes of acquiring a star player in 2017, and there are doubts that they would take Nerlens Noel, and risk losing a shot at players like Blake Griffin.
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