Although typically NBA trade rumors heat up after Christmas due to the February 23 trade deadline, there have been many rumors involving Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers wish to move him. The Noel rumors have been going on for years now. Ever since the Sixers drafted big man Joel Embiid, rumors have been pouring in surrounding Noel. Between Embiid, Okafor, and Noel, there aren’t enough minutes for all of them to play significant minutes in the front court. I believe this is the season the Sixers finally move Noel, because of their fear of losing him in the offseason for nothing.
Noel has shown signs of greatness so far in his young NBA career, but his proneness to injuries and his offensive game lead much to be desired. In 142 games, Noel has averaged 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game while averaging playing 30 minutes per contest. He’s a defensive specialist who brings fantastic energy when he’s on the floor. Here are three possible destinations for Nerlens Noel:
The Washington Wizards could use a young, athletic big man to compliment their firepower in the back court led by John Wall and Bradley Beal. Noel will bring much needed interior defense to the Wizards, which is something Marcin Gortat lacks. Noel will excel on the break with John Wall because of how well he runs the floor. His mobility as a big man is a rare and valuable trait. The Wizards need to shake things up and a little bit, and this might be the move that pushes them in the right direction.
Wizards receive: Nerlens Noel, Robert Covington
76ers receive: Otto Porter Jr.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers need depth in their front court, and Noel will provide that. He’s a young, smart, athletic defender, who will bring that energy inside Portland could so desperately use. He would be an instant starter in Portland, and would compliment the athletic, run-and-gun back court that features Damian Lillard and CJ Mccollum. He will be there best interior defender and shot blocker, and could be a nice fit inside with Mason Plumlee.
Trail Blazers receive: Nerlens Noel
76ers receive: Allen Crabbe
The suns have a similar situation in their back court that the Sixers pertaining to their front court. The Suns have Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, which easily make Brandon Knight the odd man out. Knight hasn’t handled his move to the bench very well, and he’s not a personality you want on your team when he’s unhappy. The Sixers are in desperate need for a good point guard (No disrespect to Sergio Rodriguez), and the Suns could use a force inside, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Knight is locked up until 2020, and I think the Sixers could swing this deal.
Suns receive: Nerlens Noel
76ers receive: Brandon Knight
The Sixers don’t have the power in their current and future negotiations involving Noel because his contract expires at the end of the season, and it’s well known that the Sixers are willing to move him for just about anything. Best case scenario for the Sixers is if a bidding war occurs, but if they hold out too long they could be stuck with him until the end of the season, then lose him this offseason for nothing. Colangelo needs to pull the trigger when the right deal is offered to him, and I’m confident he will do just that.