An anonymous NBA scout predicted the Philadelphia 76ers to trade Nerlens Noel early this year. The Sixers are reportedly one of the NBA teams who shows interest to acquire guard Tyus Jones from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Is a deal between the Sixers and Timberwolves going to happen before the trade deadline?
Nerlens Noel has been frequently mentioned in various trade rumors in the past months after his tandem with Jahlil Okafor didn’t work out well last season. The rumors heated up with the arrival of Joel Embiid, giving the Sixers three starting-caliber centers. As the preseason games showed, coach Brett Brown prefers to use Embiid as their starting center in the upcoming season.
“I have to believe that in the first third of the season, they trade one of their three bigs. It will probably be Noel. He can defend but he’s really light in the ass—very thin,” an NBA scout said, saying that Nerlens Noel could be traded earlier this season.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said in the past months that they are not going for a bad deal just to move one of their big men. The Sixers might want a quality guard in return to trade a center. Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical revealed that the Sixers are interested in acquiring guard Tyus Jones of Minnesota Timberwolves.
“Several teams – including Philadelphia and New Orleans – have shown interest in point guard Tyus Jones, 20, whom the Wolves are more open to moving in the short term, league sources said. Thibodeau has used non-guaranteed veteran John Lucas III – a 33-year-old whom he brought back to his roster several times with the Chicago Bulls – in the preseason point-guard rotation,” Woj said.
Recalling in the 2016 NBA draft, the Sixers were reportedly willing to trade either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel to acquire the draft rights to Kris Dunn. However, the Sixers were asking for more, resulting for the deal to be canceled. As of now, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau is developing Dunn into a starting-caliber point guard and there is no indication that they will be trading him soon.
Nerlens Noel will become a restricted free agent next summer and his value is expected to go down as the trade deadline approaches. In a suggested trade scenario, the Sixers could trade Noel for Tyus Jones. This works on the ESPN trade machine.
Knowing the Sixers, it remains questionable if they are willing to straight swap Noel for Jones. However, if this trade proceeds, it will definitely help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Photo courtesy: Bryan Horowitz/Flickr.com