Teams Turning Attention to Noel?
The NBA trade deadline hits Thursday afternoon and the Philadelphia 76ers continue to be connected to rumors around the league.
While Philadelphia GM Bryan Colangelo wasn’t able to put together a deal to deal Jahlil Okafor away just yet, he might not be done trying to engineer a deal.
He might not be the only Sixers player who teams have an eye on as the deadline approaches.
According to The Vertical Podcast, NBA teams around the league have reportedly been re-engaging with the 76ers on the availability of Nerlens Noel in a trade.
Noel is slated to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017, making him difficult to deal, teams want to know what his mind-set is before they pull the trigger on a deal for him.
The former sixth-overall draft pick is still only 22 years old but is in his third NBA season. He’s averaging 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game this year — down from his 2015-16 numbers of 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds.
As Adrian Wojnarowski points out, if the 76ers are unable to find a trade partner for Okafor they will shift their focus to moving Noel. The biggest stumbling block here for a Noel deal is that he's about to be a restricted free agent. Teams reportedly want to know what it will cost to retain Noel as a free agent.
After all, currently Noel is still a rotation player on a Sixers team that is 21-35 at the All-Star break, but he still has the mind-set of being the sixth-overall pick in the draft.
As Wojnarowski reports, Noel is seeking a "big number," which could force teams to walk away from giving anything of major value to the Sixers.