There have been NBA trade rumors swirling all summer involving the Boston Celtics. As general manager Danny Ainge works toward reshaping the Celtics’ roster, another rumored deal has emerged.
According to Morning News USA, the Celtics are in discussions with the Philadelphia 76ers regarding center Nerlens Noel. In this scenario, Boston would send guard Avery Bradley to the Sixers in exchange for Noel.
Philadelphia general manager Bryan Colangelo told NESN that his team needs more balance, as they are overloaded in the frontcourt.
“Absolutely not. But I think what we are comfortable doing is saying we’re not going to make a bad deal just to make a deal,” Colangelo said when asked if he was comfortable going into the season with three talented centers. “So when I say in a playful way, ‘No, I’m not comfortable,’ I think we could be a better basketball team if we could distribute that talent better and maybe take one of those assets and address other needs on the roster.”
Avery Bradley has been a significant contributor to the Celtics during his six years with the club, but Boston may be willing to include him in a trade due to his contract status. Bradley is known to be unhappy with his current deal, which will pay him an average of $8.5 million over the next two years. In today’s market, Bradley sees himself as being severely underpaid.
The Celtics realize that when the contracts of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley both expire after the 2017-18 season, they will probably have to make a choice between the two, so trading the disgruntled Bradley now may be the savvy move.
Boston feels that Nerlens Noel would be a good fit alongside their new frontcourt centerpiece, Al Horford, who recently signed a four-year, $113 million max contract to join the Celtics after spending the prior nine years with the Atlanta Hawks (per the Inquisitr). Horford mostly played center for the Hawks, but the Celtics would like to use him at his more natural position of power forward.
The Philadelphia 76ers have too many centers, according to their general manager, but they could use some help in the backcourt, as detailed by Sportsrageous. The Sixers need more shooters, and Avery Bradley would fill that need for Philadelphia. A trade of Bradley-for-Noel would also ease the logjam the 76ers currently have at center, with Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid also on the roster.
Avery Bradley, the six-foot-two combo guard from the University of Texas, joined the NBA in 2010 as the No. 19 pick in the first round of that year’s NBA Draft. Bradley has made a steady ascent up the Celtics’ depth chart and became a full-time starter in his third season. In 2015-16, he scored a career-high 15.2 points per game and shot 36 percent from three-point range.
Avery Bradley puts LeBron James on skates and drills the jumper https://t.co/GGLR7WHusG— Blood Runs Green ☘ (@BloodRunsGreen_) July 17, 2016
Nerlens Noel, the former Kentucky Wildcat, has had a bumpy ride in the NBA since being chosen sixth in the 2013 NBA Draft. He missed the entire 2013-14 season due to injury but came back strong the following year. Noel has been the 76ers’ starting center for the last two seasons, averaging 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocked shots per contest. He is thought of as an elite defensive player, earning the nickname “The Eraser.”
This deal makes sense for both teams, and a very important point to add is that it does work under NBA trade and salary cap restrictions. In theory, both teams would benefit from a trade involving Avery Bradley and Nerlens Noel.
Some NBA trade rumors carry more weight than others, but the Celtics agreeing to a deal with Philadelphia for Noel could very well happen. If it does, who do you think would be getting the better end of this trade?
[Photo by John Amis/AP Images]