One team that has not been involved much in NBA trade rumors this off-season is the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are coming off a record-setting 73-9 regular season, and if they weren’t already strong enough, the team lured prized free agent Kevin Durant to join them back in July.
Despite those facts, a fresh rumor has surfaced that Golden State may be looking at yet another lineup upgrade. According to Yibada, the Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers could be working on a trade that would send center Nerlens Noel to Golden State in exchange for point guard Shaun Livingston.
Nerlens Noel would be an outstanding acquisition for the Golden State Warriors. If the Warriors do swing a trade before the season begins, they would likely be looking for a player much like Noel — a young, talented, defense-oriented player who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be successful. Noel would provide Golden State with a rim protector who can also score when given the opportunity. Noel would benefit from easy baskets created by the Warriors’ up-tempo style, especially in transition. Noel would be a great fit in Golden State’s starting lineup, which would allow Zaza Pachulia to come off the bench and strengthen the Warriors’ second unit.
It is well-known throughout the basketball world that the Sixers not only have a weak roster, but a terribly unbalanced one. While the Warriors were setting a record for regular season wins, Philadelphia was threatening the record for least wins in a season (the team ended the 2015-16 campaign with a 10-72 record). The 76ers don’t have much talent, but the talent they do have is mostly at the center position where Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid reside. General manager Bryan Colangelo has even stated in an interview that he knows the team needs to move one of their centers (as reported by SB Nation).
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Trading Nerlens Noel is a no-brainer, but does Shaun Livingston offer enough value to the rebuilding Sixers to justify this deal? In a word: no. Livingston has become an important cog in the Warriors’ machine, but he is a minor contributor on an excellent team. More would be expected of Livingston if he is dealt to the 76ers, and he is not the ideal type of player Philadelphia would be looking for if they trade Noel.
Shaun Livingston is not only 31-years-old, but he has come back from a major knee injury earlier in his career and is not the same player he was prior to the injury. If the Sixers trade Nerlens Noel, they wouldn’t agree to do it for an older player who is “damaged goods” such as Shaun Livingston.
It doesn’t appear that this particular trade scenario would appeal to the 76ers, but the Warriors have other options if they want to make a deal for Nerlens Noel. Philadelphia is nearly $30 million under the salary cap, so Golden State could offer another player instead of, or in addition to Shaun Livingston. The most likely players to be considered would include Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Either Green or Iguodala would be of more interest to the Sixers than Livingston, but we will have to follow future NBA trade rumors to see if the Warriors choose to pursue that line of thinking.
The latest NBA trade rumors indicate that the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers may be discussing a potential trade. The rumored deal would be a very good one for the Warriors, but wouldn’t be worthwhile for the Sixers. Noel would be such a good fit in Golden State that the team would be wise not to give up if their first offer is vetoed. Do you think the Warriors will be able to put together an appealing enough package to pry Nerlens Noel away from Philadelphia prior to the 2016-17 season?
[Featured Image by Matt Slocum/AP Images]