L.A. Lakers Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel The Answer Fans Want

L.A. Lakers trade rumors have started up again following an eight-game losing streak by the team. Though the Lakers did pick up a win on Friday (Dec. 16) against the Philadelphia 76ers, the team has slipped all the way to 11th place in the Western Conference. The updated NBA standings reflect how the team is now two and a half games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the final playoff spot.

Though there have been a lot of sparks on offense, the team has struggled to stay consistent on the defensive side of the ball. The defense is allowing 110.2 points per game, ranking them among the worst in the NBA. This alone has caused a lot of L.A. Lakers trade rumors to surface about the team acquiring a rim protector. Highlighted by many Lakers fans on Twitter is 76ers center Nerlens Noel.

Noel is a restricted free agent at the end of the current NBA season, meaning every team around the league can court his services. The 76ers were unable to come to terms with Noel on a contract extension and he will soon test the open market. As a restricted free agent, the 76ers can then match any contract offer made to him, giving Philadelphia the final call on whether or not he will play for a new team.

[Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Image]

This is where the L.A. Lakers trade rumors start to pick up, as fans of the team would love the front office to make a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. When the Lakers were in the middle of the pack and it looked as though the young core of players were finally putting things together, that thought process could have made a lot of sense. Acquiring a player like Nerlens Noel would give a lot of teams a huge boost on defense. But are the Lakers even in a position to try to improve with short-term success in mind?

The roster for the Lakers is not short on confidence, as shown in a recent interview that point guard D’Angelo Russell gave to GQ. When asked about the vibe of the city of Los Angeles and how it changes when the team is winning, Russell gave an answer that has been a hot topic among Lakers fans.

“There’s so many different personalities on this team it’s going to be scary once we put it together and find that niche for us.”

Tracking back to the L.A. Lakers trade rumors about Nerlens Noel, a lot of fan discussion revolves around how he could be the perfect addition to a young roster. Noel is upset with his playing time on the Philadelphia 76ers, leading many NBA analysts to believe that the franchise would part with him for the right offer. With too many big men on the roster, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor are getting a majority of the minutes. In fact, over the last two games, Noel has only played a total of 18 minutes.

[Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]

A new report by CSN Philly shows that the former first-round draft pick has not been shy about airing his frustrations to the media.

“I just want to play basketball. I’m not an eight-minute player so I don’t know what that’s about. […] I need to be on the court playing basketball. I think I’m too good to be playing eight minutes. Like, no, that’s crazy. That’s crazy. That’s crazy. They need to figure this s–t out.”

Summarizing the entire situation, the Lakers need a big man, the 76ers have too many, and fans have become convinced that the two sides are potentially great trade partners. Neither the Lakers or 76ers are in a good position to make the NBA Playoffs, as both franchises continue to go through growing pains. For the front office in Los Angeles to acquire a young big man like Nerlens Noel, it’s also going to be quite expensive. The Lakers might have to give up several future first-round picks just to get the 76ers to the negotiating table and that still might not be enough to close a deal.

[Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

The 76ers already own the Lakers’ first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, which the team acquired from the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers dealt it to Phoenix as part of the Steve Nash trade and then the pick was shipped to Philadelphia. Now the 76ers could be looking at two lottery picks, giving the team even less incentive to help improve the Lakers this year. This puts a huge hole in any L.A. Lakers trade rumors that involve Nerlens Noel, even if he might be a good fit with the team. A more realistic option would be to wait until free agency and offer him a deal Philadelphia won’t match.

[Featured Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]

Share this article: L.A. Lakers Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel The Answer Fans Want
More from Inquisitr