NBA trade rumors have focused on the Philadelphia 76ers all summer. The latest buzz has them discussing a potential deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, who like the Sixers are looking to build from the ground up after a poor 2015-16 season.
According to the Gospel Herald, the Lakers and Sixers are working on a deal that would send center Nerlens Noel to Los Angeles in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Brandon Ingram. It has been widely reported that Philadelphia is trying to trade one of its big men (Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, or Noel) for a wing player, as the 76ers have a serious roster imbalance. The Sixers are coming off a disastrous 10-72 regular season, but they arguably have more talent at the center position than any team in the league. They are weak almost everywhere else, so they are pushing to make a deal this offseason.The Lakers are in a similar position, going 17-65 last year and losing future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant to retirement. The team has some good young talent, but it will likely be years before they are ready to contend in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has a more balanced roster than Philadelphia, but the Lakers need to improve their overall talent level. Another thing Los Angeles lacks is experience, although they can afford to let their youthful lineup learn and grow together since they are not going to compete for a playoff spot right away.
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Getting Brandon Ingram would be a huge boon for the 76ers, as most observers feel that the rookie forward from Duke University has superstar potential. Nerlens Noel is a good player and will probably keep getting better (he's only 22 years old), but Philadelphia would have to up their offer substantially to have any chance of landing Ingram. With limited assets other than their trio of centers, it's hard to imagine what the Sixers could offer that would tempt the Lakers to bite on a deal like this.When looking at this potential trade from the Lakers' side of things, it begins to make even less sense. The team just invested heavily in free agent center Timofey Mozgov to the tune of $64 million over four years, as reported by the Washington Post. The NBA world was shocked by the size of Mozgov's contract, but Los Angeles is clearly counting on him to be a force in the middle after coming over from Cleveland this summer. The Lakers need a lot of help to get back to their glory days, but trading for another center doesn't seem to be the way to get that done.Regarding Brandon Ingram, the team feels fortunate to have been in position to draft him. The Lakers see him as "the next Kevin Durant," a future superstar who will carry the torch passed on by Kobe Bryant. The 76ers may very well have inquired about Ingram's availability, but it is doubtful that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak would have much interest in a proposal such as this. The only other thing of consequence Philadelphia has to offer, in addition to Noel, would be unprotected draft picks. However, that simply isn't enough, even if Kupchak was inclined to consider a blockbuster deal for Ingram.
Current NBA trade rumors are circulating that the 76ers are offering Nerlens Noel (plus other pieces) to the Lakers for rookie forward Brandon Ingram. Philadelphia may eventually trade one of their big men, but Los Angeles doesn't appear to be the right trade partner for the Sixers.
[Photo by Matt Slocum/AP Images]