NBA trade rumors continue to follow the Golden State Warriors, despite the team’s loaded roster and stellar 16-2 record. Yibada reports that Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel has gotten the Warriors’ attention as a possible trade target, as his rim protection and athleticism would be assets to an already-strong Golden State team. It is no secret that the Sixers are looking to move at least one of their three talented centers, and the Warriors would appear to be a logical trade partner.
According to Sportsrageous, another 76ers center (Jahlil Okafor) could be headed to the Boston Celtics before the NBA trade deadline next February. The Celtics want to put themselves in position to challenge for an NBA championship, and they have been looking for a major acquisition to help make that happen. If Boston strikes out on all the superstars they have been rumored to be interested in, a young talent like Jahlil Okafor might be their next best option.
Once Golden State signed superstar small forward Kevin Durant in free agency this past summer, rumors almost immediately began to swirl that NBA All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson could be the odd man out if the Warriors’ chemistry doesn’t work out as planned. The Christian Times recently published a piece that hints at the potential of a deal that would send Thompson to Philadelphia. This move would make Klay Thompson the undisputed star of the 76ers’ team, but would also place him on one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The latest NBA trade rumors that are being shared and discussed online are focusing on a potential three-way deal between the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. In this hypothetical trade scenario, the Warriors would acquire Nerlens Noel, shooting guard Avery Bradley, and the Sixers’ first-round pick in 2017. The Celtics would receive Jahlil Okafor, center JaVale McGee, and Golden State’s first-round pick in 2017. Lastly, the 76ers would come out of this swap with Klay Thompson, center Tyler Zeller, and a pair of second-round picks from Boston (2017 and 2018).
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In terms of how the league would view this trade proposal, it would be a legal transaction (via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine) except for one detail: Celtics center Tyler Zeller will not be trade-eligible until January 15, 2017. However, the talk regarding this rumor has been that if this trade takes place, it would probably be closer to the NBA trade deadline, so Zeller’s current status would not be a hindrance to this as a possible trade that could go down early next year.
For the Golden State Warriors, this theoretical deal would offer decent value in return for Klay Thompson, JaVale McGee, and their 2017 first-round pick. Avery Bradley and Nerlens Noel would both appear to be a good fit with the Warriors, and the Sixers’ first-round pick in 2017 should be near the top of the draft. However, Golden State is in a position where they would not make any significant moves unless the team, or Klay Thompson individually, falters. Neither of those things are happening at this point in the 2016-17 season, so the Warriors would pass on this rumored offer.
This trade would allow the Boston Celtics to move Al Horford to power forward, which is arguably his best position. The problem with this rumored proposal is that the Celtics would not have a suitable replacement for Avery Bradley if this deal went through, so it seems likely that they would also say no. The Philadelphia 76ers would probably be the only team of the three that would be motivated to agree to this swap right now. Yes, they would be giving up quite a bit, but to obtain a player of Klay Thompson’s caliber, as well as the addition of a solid backup center to replace Noel and Okafor, this swap would be worthwhile for the Sixers.
This three-team, six-player, four draft pick transaction that is featured in the current batch of NBA trade rumors is certainly a compelling idea, and does offer each team something of interest, particularly the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the Boston Celtics would have too big a hole at shooting guard if they made this trade, and the Golden State Warriors would simply need a good reason to make a major change like this. Despite being somewhat plausible, this creation of the rumor mill will likely remain right where it began.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]