The San Antonio Spurs replaced Tim Duncan with Pau Gasol but the team needs a defensive anchor for the future. According to the latest NBA rumors, Nerlens Noel could be that player and the Spurs can possibly acquire him by trading Kyle Anderson and a draft pick.
Duncan was the rim protector for the Spurs throughout his career but now that he’s retired, Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge have to pick up the slack on defense. However, both players are not known for their defense and that is where Noel comes in.
According to Lucas Johnson of FanSided, the Spurs is one of the unlikely destination for Noel, who has been on part many NBA rumors this offseason. The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to unload their frontcourt with the arrival of Dario Saric and Ben Simmons, as well as the good health of Joel Embiid.
“The Philadelphia 76ers would like a wing player that can still grow with the young Sixers roster than can make an immediate impact. If the Spurs send Kyle Anderson along with a lightly protected first round pick for Noel that might be just enough for the Sixers to make a deal,” Johnson reported.
Another possible trade scenario, per the RealGM Trade Checker, is the Spurs sending Kyle Anderson and Patty Mills to the Sixers for Noel. San Antonio can also add a protected first round pick to sweeten the deal.
Philadelphia will free up some playing time for Saric, Simmons, and Embiid while also getting Anderson, who is not going to fully develop behind Kawhi Leonard. They also get Mills, who is a veteran point guard that can help a young team like the Sixers grow.
It should be noted that these are just NBA rumors at the moment but expect the Sixers to trade either or both Noel and Jahlil Okafor before the deadline. The Spurs are still considered playoff contenders but they need to get younger to keep up with the Golden State Warriors and acquiring Nerlens Noel is a good first step.
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