If teams are going to follow through on any of the current NBA trade rumors, time is running short now that the first preseason games are scheduled for this coming weekend. The latest from the rumor mill suggests that a three-team, five-player deal could be up for discussion as the Celtics, Sixers, and Clippers prepare for the 2016-17 campaign.
According to the website NBA Trade Rumors, a potential trade could be brewing between three franchises who have been the subject of numerous NBA trade rumors this offseason. In this trade scenario, the Boston Celtics would acquire center DeAndre Jordan, the Philadelphia 76ers would receive guard Marcus Smart and a second-round draft pick from the Clippers, and Los Angeles would obtain a package that includes center Nerlens Noel, small forward Jae Crowder, forward Amir Johnson, and a future first-round draft choice from Boston.
Some of the NBA trade rumors that surface online are flawed in terms of what is allowed under NBA rules, but this proposal would be a legal trade exactly as stated. The Celtics and Clippers would be exchanging a near-equal amount of salary (in the $21-22 million range), while the 76ers would only be swapping one player for another who both make $3-4 million per season. The structure of this deal is interesting from a technical standpoint, but the plausibility of this trade will come down to how it affects each team involved.
Previous NBA trade rumors have pointed toward Boston trying to bring in a big man to play alongside newly signed Al Horford, and this current rumor falls in line with that trend. Despite some flaws in his game, DeAndre Jordan is considered by most to be one of the best centers in the NBA. The reported trade scenario has the Celtics dealing three players and a draft pick for the rights to DeAndre Jordan.
Marcus Smart is a young guard with potential, but he remains a bench player for Boston going into the 2016-17 season. Amir Johnson could be the starting center for the Celtics, but if the team acquires Jordan, Johnson would become expendable. Jae Crowder is arguably the most valuable piece Boston would be parting with, but the combination of high-profile rookie Jaylen Brown and explosive scorer Gerald Green could ease the loss of Crowder quite well.
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Particularly if general manager Danny Ainge feels his team is on the cusp of contending in the Eastern Conference, this would seem to be a good deal for the Celtics. A somewhat expensive trade, yes, but one that appears to make Boston a more formidable team on the whole.
The Sixers part of this trade is a bit more basic — they are essentially trading Nerlens Noel for Marcus Smart. Philadelphia has too many quality centers and not enough talent elsewhere, and the team has been very open about the fact that they need to address this issue, as reported by Real GM. The 76ers dealing Nerlens Noel is very realistic, but would they do it for Marcus Smart? That’s a tough one to call.
Nerlens Noel would appear to have more value than Smart, but not by that much. Smart fills a need for Philadelphia, while Noel does not. Smart hasn’t played up to his potential during his first two years in the league, but he does have the talent to be a very good player in the future. This rumored trade offer looks like a toss-up for the Sixers — the final decision would likely depend on just how much Sixers team president Bryan Colangelo likes Marcus Smart as a player, but either way, this would be an offer he would at least consider.
Lastly, we come to the Los Angeles Clippers. Losing DeAndre Jordan would certainly be a blow to the lineup, but replacing him with Nerlens Noel would be a solid backup plan. Jae Crowder could start at small forward for the Clippers, and Amir Johnson would provide some depth in the frontcourt. The rumored offer also includes a first-round draft pick, so all in all, this would be a pretty good deal for Los Angeles — definitely a trade they would give some thought to and possibly go through with.
Current NBA trade rumors are floating the idea that the Celtics, Sixers, and Clippers might be considering a five-player swap. The proposal seems reasonable for all the teams involved, and it also works under NBA trade and salary cap constraints. One could argue that Boston may come out ahead in this three-team trade, but it appears to be no worse than an even deal for Philadelphia and Los Angeles, as well. Do you concur that this trade could end up helping all three teams if an agreement is reached?
[Featured Image by Chris Szagola/AP Images]