In an interesting turn of events, the 76ers like the Providence point guard. The 76ers will not take Kris Dunn with the first pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday; that pick is likely reserved for LSU’s Ben Simmons. But if the 76ers are successful at prying the third pick from the Boston Celtics, Dunn will be available for the taking.
According to CSN New England’s Gary Tanguay, trade talks are heating up between the 76ers and Celtics. And the 76ers are considering it with Kris Dunn in mind.
Celts and Sixers trade talk heats up. Philly really really wants Dunn per Tim Welsch. @CSNNE— Gary Tanguay (@Gary_Tanguay) June 20, 2016
Nothing brings two division rivals together like trade rumors just before the draft.
The 76ers and Celtics have a history of not getting along with each other. They both have battled for supremacy of the Atlantic Division for decades. Nothing will change things. Even if they decide to follow through with a trade.
The Philadelphia 76ers are not a star-laden team. In fact, they do not have any star players. What the 76ers do have are a couple of players on the verge of being good pros. Those 76ers’ players seem good enough for the Celtics.
The 76ers’ frontcourt duo of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have the potential to become solid NBA players. Noel is a defensive dynamo. He can change a game on defense the way few players can. Unfortunately for Nerlens Noel, he plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. It is the 76ers who were arguably the worst team in all of sports over the last three years.
Watching Noel swat shots and sway others was not on the list of things to do for those who were not 76ers’ fans. His development went unseen because of how bad the team was.
The same can be said for Jahlil Okafor.
Okafor, buried on the 76ers for the same reason that Nerlens Noel is, went under-appreciated when he was healthy. Jahlil Okafor’s offensive game is as advanced as Noel’s defense.
Either of them could help the Celtics, but neither can take them can them over the top. They would get the Celtics closer to what they want to accomplish, which is important enough. The question now is which 76ers’ player are the Celtics looking at?
Help could be used on both sides of the floor.
Adding Nerlens Noel gives the Celtics the defensive anchor they need. Noel blocking shots and altering others for the Celtics would allow forward Amir Johnson to roam free a bit more. All things would lead to fast breaks for Boston, who will look to run more if the pieces are in place. With Jahlil Okafor, the Celtics would play slightly different.
Okafor’s back-to-basket game would slow down any team, but it is necessary when the games become a half-court affair. Boston’s offense would have the versatility it needs to play different styles.
For the 76ers, it would be all about getting Kris Dunn. Trading for the No. 3 pick is a far cry from looking for a veteran point guard. If the 76ers have a goal to compete for a playoff spot, adding four rookies is not the way to do it. The amount of rookies would jump to four unless the 76ers agree to trade one or both of their late first-rounders. Philadelphia also have the 24th and 26th picks in this year’s NBA Draft. Any talks regarding the playoffs will have to take a backseat for at least another year or two as the young 76ers’ players develop and get a feel for the NBA. The 76ers making such a deal would signal that they deem Kris Dunn worth taking a chance on.
Kris Dunn has the potential to be good, can he be that good?
If a deal does happen between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics for the No. 3 pick, the answer is yes. NBA fans have to wait a couple of days before they find out what the 76ers and Celtics do. And do not be surprised if another team like the Chicago Bulls gets involved.
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