The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to make some big changes this summer. The team decided to part ways with general manager Sam Hinkie. After parting ways with Hinkie, the team hired Bryan Colangelo to become the new 76ers general manager and president of basketball operations. Colangelo is expected to make a big splash during the NBA Draft and free agency. Philadelphia has an abundance of big men on their roster. According to Sports Illustrated, the 76ers are considering a Nerlens Noel trade during the off-season. Plenty of teams in the NBA will be looking for a young defensive center like Noel.
The Philadelphia 76ers have a stockpile of young big men on their roster. They have selected or traded for four big men in the past three NBA Drafts. The 76ers traded point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel on draft night.
The next summer, they selected Joel Embiid with the third overall pick. The 76ers also selected Elfrid Payton with the 10th pick, but he was traded on the same night. Payton was traded to the Orlando Magic for the draft rights to Dario Saric. The Croatian star was the 12th pick. Last summer, the 76ers selected Jahlil Okafor with the third selection in the draft.
Joel Embiid has been out for the past two seasons because of a foot injury. He is currently on pace to play his first ever game in the NBA next season. The Philadelphia 76ers are willing to take a risk that Embiid fulfills his full potential. Even if the 76ers wanted to trade the former Kansas Jayhawks star, they wouldn’t be able to get much back for him since he hasn’t played.
Jahlil Okafor is also on the trading block this summer. The former Duke Blue Devils star has had an up and down rookie season so far. Okafor also had trouble off the court. He has been suspended two games for fighting. During the middle of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to switch Okafor to power forward from center. His season came to an early end due to a small tear of the meniscus in his right knee.
Nerlens Noel was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The former Kentucky Wildcats star can play both the center and power forward positions. Noel missed the first year of his professional career because of a torn ACL. He suffered that injury in college. Nerlens was considered to be the favorite for the first pick in the draft. In the first year he played, he averaged 9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.9 blocks. Those are some tremendous stats for a rookie big man. Noel became the third rookie in Philadelphia 76ers history to record 100 blocks in a season.
One of the teams that could be interested in trading for Nerlens Noel are the Atlanta Hawks. They are in a sticky situation this summer. The Hawks will have to decide if they are willing to pay Al Horford the maximum contract or let him walk. If they decide to let the All-Star go, the team will need someone who can fill his shoes at the center position.
Nerlens Noel is only 22-years-old. He will have plenty of time to develop into his full potential. Noel improved his averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He has held opponents to 48.6 percent shooting at the rim. Noel has all the tools to become an elite defensive player in the NBA.
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