Nerlens Noel trade rumors were again addressed by Philadelphia 76ers team president Bryan Colangelo. Noel keeps popping up in rumors due to his pending free agency, but also because the 76ers have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to starting centers. A new report by the Philadelphia Inquirer provides fans with some quotes from Colangelo, who continues to face questions about what the franchise plans to do with Noel both in the short-term as well as long-term scenarios.
It isn’t just Nerlens Noel who has surfaced in the trade chatter, as now Jahlil Okafor is getting mentioned as well. It’s important to point out that neither the 76ers as a franchise nor Bryan Colangelo have publicly stated that Okafor is available in a deal. This hasn’t stopped NBA analysts from examining how the team could be improved by dealing from its power position to improve at the guard positions or through the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft.
“I will only make deals that make sense for this organization. Hopefully we can make mutual benefit to both the organizations and players involved in whichever respective trades between the [February] trade deadline or before the [June] draft, ultimately. I’m pretty sure everyone is lined up to criticize whatever deal I make with Nerlens.”
There are a lot of teams paying very close to the Nerlens Noel trade rumors, including the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Lakers. Many teams have been linked to the Philadelphia 76ers in one way or another, with most of the franchises needing an immediate improvement in the low post. Adding a player like Noel, who can be a huge asset on defense, might be a boost that is big enough to get a contender deeper in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
The trade value for Nerlens Noel has taken a hit recently, mostly because he hasn’t seen a lot of playing time with the Philadelphia 76ers. He has only appeared in five games during the 2016-17 NBA season, with all of them coming off the bench. This has allowed very little time for Noel to establish himself on the court or in the rotation with the team. With Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid ahead of him in the allocation of minutes, it could continue to be difficult for the coaches to find time for Noel on the court.
In those five games, Noel has averaged just 7.8 minutes a night. He is averaging 4.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks per game in that limited action. That is far off from the 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks Noel averaged during the 2015-16 NBA season. In that year, he started 62 of the 67 games that he played for the 76ers.
There are going to be more Nerlens Noel trade rumors as the NBA trade deadline approaches in February, but many teams are trying to make moves in the short term. This is a key point of the NBA season where a contender can make a run up the NBA standings, so acquiring a player like Noel could be an instant boost. Since Noel is also a free agent at the end of the current NBA season, it might mean that another franchise is willing to pay the 76ers more to get the deal done soon.
Though Noel is about to be done with his current contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, he will still be a restricted free agent in the NBA offseason. This means that his new team could offer him a new contract or simply match any offer he receives on the open market. That provides more value in a deal with the 76ers, showing why his current team isn’t willing to just give him away. The latest statements by Bryan Colangelo may not forecast a specific deal, but it does suggest that the Nerlens Noel trade rumors could lead to something taking place in the next two months.
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