Few hours before the trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers are yet to address their logjam at center. Jahlil Okafor has been offered to multiple teams but no deal happens until now. According to the latest report, the Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo starts listening to offers for Nerlens Noel.
As of now, Okafor is still believed to be the odd man out of the City of Brotherly Love. The rise of Joel Embiid made the Sixers decide to shop either Okafor or Noel. Coach Brett Brown made various experiments in the past months to have a better insight on who should stay on their team.
He tried pairing Okafor with Embiid but didn’t find success as the team suffered on the defensive end. When Noel returned from injury, he was sent to their D-League affiliate, Delaware 87ers. This heated up the speculations that his days in Philly is numbered.
However, after receiving enough playing time, Nerlens Noel proved that he deserves to be part of the Sixers’ long-term plan. Since then, the Sixers continue to find Jahlil Okafor a new home. Reports claimed that at least 10 NBA teams had trade discussion with the Sixers involving the young center.
The New Orleans Pelicans became frontrunners in acquiring Okafor. However, they ended up trading for DeMarcus Cousins. The Chicago Bulls remain interested in getting Okafor but the Sixers don’t find their offers interesting.
Sixers listening to offers for Nerlens Noel
As of now, the Sixers are still unable to move Okafor. GM Bryan Colangelo knows he needs to address the logjam in their frontcourt. With their inability to find an ideal trade partner for Okafor, the Sixers make Nerlens Noel available again on the trade market.
“If they can’t get a deal for Okafor done before the deadline, I’m told that it’s possible they’ll start – there are still teams still checking on Noel, re-engaging on him. What complicates it for Noel is that he’s a restricted free agent, and teams want to know ‘what is it going to cost to us to re-sign him.’ And it’s going to be a big number,” Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical said in a recent podcast (h/t Hoopshype).
Nerlens Noel will be a good acquisition for a team who needs a quality rim protector. However, trading for him would be quite risky as he’s set to become a restricted free agent next summer. With his current performance, Noel is expected to demand a huge contract in the upcoming free agency.
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