NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel To Warriors In Three-Team Deal With Sixers And Raptors

No team is immune from NBA trade rumors, not even the powerful Golden State Warriors. A fresh rumor has surfaced that has the Warriors involved in a three-team, six-player deal with the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors. CBS Sports has reported that the Sixers plan to trade either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor due to the team’s logjam at the center position. According to Yibada, Golden State is now one of the teams showing interest in Nerlens Noel.

The current trade scenario making the rounds online goes as follows: the Golden State Warriors would receive center Nerlens Noel, while the Philadelphia 76ers would emerge from this trade with a package that includes rookie guard Patrick McCaw, swingman Terrence Ross, center JaVale McGee, a 2017 first-round pick from Toronto and a 2019 first-round pick from Golden State. The Toronto Raptors would reportedly bring in power forward Kevon Looney and shooting guard Nik Stauskas.

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This complex transaction does qualify as a legal trade under NBA rules, as verified via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine. Is this rumored trade proposal balanced enough so that all three teams would benefit from the deal? Let’s take a look at how this would play out if this six-player, two-draft-choice swap took place.

The Golden State Warriors don’t appear to need any additional help, but that surely won’t stop them from trying to make a deal that would make their team even stronger. If this trade goes through, the Warriors will come away with a young center in Nerlens Noel who is an athletic, defensive-minded player who would be a very good fit in Golden State. One thing the team could use is a rim protector and a big man who is athletic enough to keep pace with the run-and-gun Warriors — Nerlens Noel is an ideal player to fill that role.

To get Noel, this trade scenario has Golden State sending out three low-level player assets (McCaw, Looney, and McGee) and a draft pick, which in all likelihood will be at or near the end of the first round. This would be a great move for the Warriors to make, much to the chagrin of their competitors who are already struggling to match the firepower the Warriors have at their disposal.


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The Philadelphia 76ers would be trading Noel and Nik Stauskas for the aforementioned package of three players and two draft choices. Noel is a talented player, but it is clear that the Sixers need to move one of their centers. Nik Stauskas hasn’t lived up to his draft position (No. 8 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft) during his first two years in the league, so Philadelphia would have no problem parting with the six-foot-six shooting guard.

Terrence Ross is proven scorer off the bench and is a particularly good three-point marksman. Patrick McCaw is a rookie guard who many observers feel has a chance to be a good player in the NBA, and going to a team like the 76ers would give him a chance to develop since they are seemingly years away from being a playoff contender. The Sixers don’t really have a need for another center, so if this trade were agreed upon, JaVale McGee would probably be released by Philadelphia.

The trio of Ross, McCaw and McGee may not be an attractive enough offer to get 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo excited, but the rumored proposal also includes two future first-round draft picks. Either way, this isn’t a home run deal for Philadelphia, but there might be enough value here for Colangelo to bite on this rumored trade offer — especially if he is committed to shipping out Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor, and this is the best deal out there just as the season is about to begin.

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For the Toronto Raptors, this trade boils down to a swap of Terrence Ross for Kevon Looney and Nik Stauskas. Toronto is a team on the cusp of being a true contender in the Eastern Conference race, so they are more interested in the present than building for the future. Ross has been a contributor to the Raptors’ recent success, and if the team agrees to this deal, they would be getting two very young players in return who probably would not be factors for Toronto any time soon.

Both Looney and Stauskas are players who have potential, but even if the Raptors like them as young prospects, they won’t help the team now. It’s apparent that for the Toronto Raptors, this rumored proposal makes little sense. The trade offer is a decent one, but it doesn’t fit at all with what Toronto is trying to do. If the Raptors were a bad team and primarily looking for assets to help them down the road, Looney and Stauskas would be of more interest to them, but this still may not have been a good enough offer to convince Toronto to pull the trigger.

The latest NBA trade rumors are floating the idea of a three-way deal between Golden State, Philadelphia, and Toronto. The rumored proposition would be very advantageous for the Warriors, but it looks to be a solid maybe for the Sixers. The Raptors end of this potential swap is reasonable, but it is doubtful the team would actually go through with a trade that would send out a key rotation player for two long-term projects who may or may not become eventual contributors in the NBA. It appears that Golden State will have to be content going into 2016-17 with their current roster, and that is a problem 29 other teams would love to have.

[Featured Image by Matt Slocum/AP Images]