The Philadelphia 76ers could possibly deal one of their big men before the February deadline. Should the Sixers trade Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor?
The Sixers continue to struggle and are currently in the 15th spot in the Eastern Conference. They entered the season without Ben Simmons due to injury. Joel Embiid proves that he deserves to be the Sixers starting center. Rumors continue to swirl that one of their big men will be moved this season.
So far, Nerlens Noel is the odd man in Philadelphia. The 22-year-old center remains sidelined due to injury. Noel and the Sixers let the October 31 deadline passed without reaching an agreement regarding a contract extension. With this, Noel is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.
Was told recently, not much desire to trade Jahlil – Noel is the guy they'll move. Not on the same page at all. https://t.co/G3uRMqt3E6
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) November 23, 2016
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insider revealed that the Sixers prefer Jahlil Okafor to stay than Noel. Not only because he is younger but he’s also under team control longer than Noel. In the past months, Noel expressed his frustration after the Sixers were unable to address the logjam in their frontcourt. However, he is not demanding a trade but willing to be moved.
Nerlens Noel received interests from several NBA teams including the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics were reportedly interested with Jahlil Okafor. However, no deal happened until now and reports claimed that the Sixers are asking for too much for their big men.
If the Sixers would move either Noel or Okafor, they should consider improving their backcourt. Adding a quality guard would give them a higher chance to improve their standing this season. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Phoenix Suns’ Brandon Knight is on the trading block.
“Suns general manager Ryan McDonough recently went on the Burns & Gambo radio show in Phoenix and proclaimed (A) that he isn’t actively trying to trade Knight and (B) that he’d prefer to take at least two months to evaluate his team before seriously considering trades. None of that, however, has stopped interested rivals from believing that the struggling Knight — who started two games this week with TJ Warren out but mostly comes off the bench for the Suns — will be made available,” Stein wrote.
Matt Moore of CBS Sports sees the Philadelphia 76ers as one of the possible trade destinations for Brandon Knight. So far, Eric Bledsoe continues to prove that he deserves to be the Suns’ starting point guard. However, the Suns didn’t give Knight a lucrative contract just to be a backup.
With this, speculations heated up that the Knight will be moved this season. Knight will definitely be a good addition on the Sixers roster. He can score and run offense. However, Moore said that the Suns would prefer to acquire Jahlil Okafor in return. Noel’s expiring contract makes it hard for the Sixers to get a fair return. If both teams proceed with the deal, it will definitely help them in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
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