NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel And Ricky Rubio To Cavs, Iman Shumpert To Timberwolves In Three-Team Deal With 76ers

NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel And Ricky Rubio To Cavs, Iman Shumpert To Timberwolves In Three-Team Deal With 76ers

NBA trade rumors have followed Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel all summer, and those whispers have not subsided now that the 2016-17 season has begun. CSN Philly reported that Bovada, a prominent betting website, has posted odds indicating that Nerlens Noel is the most likely NBA player to be traded during the season.

According to, the Minnesota Timberwolves have inquired as to the availability of Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert, and since the Cavs are looking for a point guard to back up Kyrie Irving, Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio would be Cleveland’s apparent target in a possible trade with the Timberwolves.

Yet another published report indicates the likelihood of a trade between Cleveland and Minnesota that would involve Rubio and Shumpert. Morning News USA opined that “Ricky Rubio would be the perfect complement to Irving” if the Timberwolves are interested in acquiring Iman Shumpert from the Cavaliers.

The latest talk in the rumor mill is pointing toward a massive ten-player swap between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves. The rumored trade scenario has the Cavs receiving Nerlens Noel, Ricky Rubio and point guard Tyus Jones.

The Sixers would come out of this transaction with a package of small forward Shabazz Muhammad, small forward Mike Dunleavy, shooting guard Jordan McRae and the contract of the retiring Mo Williams. The Timberwolves’ haul would center around Iman Shumpert, and would also include power forward Channing Frye, shooting guard Nik Stauskas and a future second-round draft pick from Philadelphia.

Since this NBA trade rumor includes several prominent players and a very large number of assets, the validity of this potential deal seems suspicious right from the beginning. When entering this proposed deal into the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, however, this colossal ten-player swap turns out to be a legal deal per NBA trade and salary cap rules. With the legitimacy of this rumored trade confirmed (at least in terms of the NBA league office’s viewpoint), perhaps there is something more going on here than just an outlandish scenario created by the NBA rumor mill?


Before delving into any complex analysis of this eleven-asset NBA trade rumor, there is some recent NBA news that would seem to signal an end to any potential trade involving Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio. USA Today reports that Rubio suffered a sprained right elbow during a recent loss to the Sacramento Kings, and while the extent of the injury was not immediately known, there is now more information available regarding Rubio’s playing status — and it’s not good.

The official report on Ricky Rubio’s injury status states that he will be out indefinitely due to the elbow sprain he sustained in only the second game of the young season. In sports parlance, “out indefinitely” generally means a player will not be able to play for an extended period of time, so this injury could potentially linger for weeks. In Rubio’s absence, rookie Kris Dunn has been starting at point guard, and this will give the Timberwolves a chance to evaluate where Dunn is in his development, which in turn will have an impact on how willing Minnesota will be to deal Rubio once he is healthy.

If this blockbuster trade had any chance of happening, those chances vanished with the news that Ricky Rubio is out and may remain unavailable for quite a while. Interestingly, this does give the Timberwolves an opportunity to see what life is like without Rubio running the show, and the presence of Kris Dunn on the roster is one of the primary reasons that NBA trade rumors began to swirl around Rubio in the first place. If Minnesota likes what they see from Dunn, Rubio might be looking for a new home soon, and the Cleveland Cavaliers would remain a likely destination if they are still looking for a veteran point guard at that time.

Current NBA trade rumors are circulating on the internet that the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a huge deal that would involve ten players and a draft choice. Transactions of this size rarely take place in the NBA, but once Ricky Rubio’s health became an issue, any notion of this deal (or one similar to it) going down was rendered a moot point. If the Cavs are still in the market for a backup point guard as many believe, they will have to look beyond Ricky Rubio, the 26-year-old passing wizard from Spain.

[Featured Image by Jim Mone/AP Images]