NBA Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers Determined To Not Make ‘Bad’ Trade With Nerlens Noel
Nba Rumors: Hawks, Sixers Discussing Nerlens Noel-jeff Teague Trade?
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the needs of a professional basketball team and their players don’t necessarily line up, and when that happens, things can get ugly. Such is the case with Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers.

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For years, the 76ers have trusted the process, opting to rebuild their franchise through the draft. They have focused on accumulating assets rather than build a competitive team, and by always selecting the player they consider to be the top talent regardless of position, they have created a logjam at the center position, with Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes, and Nerlens Noel (power forward isn’t much better, with Ersan Ilyasova, Dario Saric, and eventually, Ben Simmons all getting time).

Noel, who missed the beginning of the season due to knee surgery, has made it known that he isn’t too pleased with the situation. 76ers GM Bryan Colangelo is now in a tough spot and acknowledges that the team is trying to figure out whether or not Noel is a fit with their team, which doesn’t exactly send the message that the team will try to keep him, via Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com:

Of course, for Noel this is a situation that needs to get resolved sooner rather than later. He is headed for restricted free agency this summer and needs to be able to prove that he can be productive in big minutes if he is going to get a massive new contract. For Colangelo, however, Noel’s comments certainly don’t help his trade value, nor does the fact that the entire league knows that the 76ers cannot possibly expect all of their centers to co-exist. Still, Colangelo attempted to do a little damage control:

There isn’t really much else he can say, as everyone knows what the situation is and no team is likely to fork over premium assets for a player with Noel’s injury history and the uncertainty of restricted free agency looming.

In terms of speculative trade partners, the Los Angeles Lakers would appear to be a decent fit. Philadelphia is lacking a quality guard, and it could be argued that the Lakers have a surplus with Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young, and Lou Williams all offering their own pros and cons. Long-term, a young core of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and Nerlens Noel is certainly intriguing.

However, the Lakers have learned this season how crucial chemistry is, and midseason trades don’t always help in that regard.

Additionally, Noel will require a big contract this summer, and the Lakers just committed four years and $64 million to Timofey Mozgov to be their center for the foreseeable future.

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