Nerlens Noel is the odd man out in Philadelphia and expected to be dealt before the February trade deadline. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Boston Celtics will send Terry Rozier and protected first-round pick to the Sixers for Noel.
After the Sam Hinkie era, the Philadelphia 76ers are expected to be better after years of rebuilding the team. Unfortunately, they continue to struggle in the 2016-17 NBA season and still the worst team in the league with 7-23 win-loss record. In the past drafts, the Sixers chose the best player they can get without considering what the team really needs.
As of now, they have a plethora of big men creating a logjam in their frontcourt. The Sixers currently have three starting caliber centers including Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens Noel. With the rise of Embiid, some people believe that either Okafor or Noel will be dealt before the February deadline.
Noel expressed his frustration after the Sixers were unable to address the logjam in their frontcourt.
“I don’t see a way of it working. It’s just a logjam,” Noel said. “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.”
As of now, coach Brett Brown continues with his experiment of using Okafor and Embiid as his frontcourt starters. Since his return, Noel only received limited playing time and believed that he deserves better. With Noel set to become a restricted free agent next summer, trading him now will be the best option than losing him next summer without getting anything in return.
NERLENS NOEL TO BOSTON CELTICS?
According to Brian Robb of Boston.com, Noel would provide the Celtics with a big boost on the defensive glass. Noel averaged 9.3 rebounds per 36 minutes played in his career which could be a big help for a team who ranked 28th in the league’s defensive rebounding rate.
“Sacrificing a minor asset (such as Terry Rozier) and/or a protected first-round pick to get a look at the 6-11 forward in the C’s system wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially since it would improve Boston’s postseason ceiling this year,” Robb said.
However, the problem is Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo is overvaluing his big men. If the Sixers ask for a higher price, it will be better for the Celtics to wait for Noel to become a free agent next summer.
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