NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel To Warriors, Andre Iguodala To 76ers

The Golden State Warriors are still a prominent subject of NBA trade rumors, despite coming off a 73-9 season and then acquiring one of the most sought-after free agents in years, superstar small forward Kevin Durant. The latest buzz is that the Warriors would like to add Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel to their already-powerful lineup (per Ecumenical News). Sportsrageous takes that idea a bit farther, stating that Noel could be headed to Golden State in a swap for small forward Andre Iguodala.

A related NBA trade rumor that is currently being shared and discussed online has the Golden State Warriors acquiring Nerlens Noel and small forward Robert Covington in exchange for Andre Iguodala and a future first-round draft choice. This would be a legal trade as confirmed via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, so one hurdle has been cleared en route to seeing if this rumored proposal holds water, or if it is no more than a creation of those who frequent the NBA rumor mill.

The Golden State Warriors don’t exactly need much help for their so-called “super team,” but one thing they lack is an athletic center who can defend the paint and block shots, run the floor on the fast break, and score opportunistically when those chances arise. One player who fits that description perfectly is Nerlens Noel, so his fit with the Warriors would be excellent if the team could acquire him from the Sixers.

Trading Andre Iguodala would leave a hole behind Kevin Durant at small forward since Iguodala has been a key part of the Warriors’ second unit and a defensive stalwart on the perimeter. However, Robert Covington would take his place as the backup small forward if this trade goes through, and Covington is a solid player in his own right, putting up solid numbers over the last two years with Philadelphia. Especially considering the limited minutes that Durant’s backup is expected to play, Robert Covington would be a comparable replacement for Andre Iguodala in the event this trade goes down.


From the Sixers’ standpoint, they have a problem in that they have too many good centers and not enough playing time for each of them. The 76ers are perhaps the worst team in the NBA, but they are loaded in the middle with Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor. For Philadelphia to take a step forward, they must unload at least one of these talented young players in order to replenish the roster at other positions. In this scenario, the team would obtain former Sixer Andre Iguodala and a first-round pick as compensation for parting ways with Nerlens Noel.

There are some things working against the hypothesis that the Sixers might accept this trade offer. First, Iguodala and Covington are close in terms of overall value, and considering Iguodala’s age (32), the 76ers may actually prefer to roll with the 25-year-old Covington since they are not likely to be in the playoff hunt anytime soon. Additionally, the first-round pick Philadelphia would receive as part of this deal is almost certain to be at the bottom of the first round, so that draft choice doesn’t offer a great deal of benefit to a Sixers team that desperately needs impact players to turn things around.

Yet another issue to consider is the current health of Philadelphia’s trio of centers. All of them are banged up at present, including Noel, who is dealing with complications stemming from left knee surgery and could be sidelined for more than a month according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Noel’s knee injury could not only decrease the Warriors’ interest in trading for him (although they would be likely to overlook this given the chance to acquire Noel at this cost), but may also cause hesitation on the part of the 76ers as none of their centers are completely healthy just a few games into the 2016-17 season.

The latest NBA trade rumors are hinting at a deal between the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers. This rumored trade scenario looks like a good one for the Warriors, as they would obtain a young, athletic, defensive-minded center for a reasonable price. The Sixers know they have a logjam at center, but this proposal would probably not be enough to tempt Philadelphia to ship out Nerlens Noel, particularly with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor both hobbled with nagging injuries. Golden State and Nerlens Noel appear to be an outstanding match, but this specific trade at this particular time isn’t destined to bring the two together.

[Featured Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]