If you haven’t already figured it out, the Sixers have too many big men on their roster. With six players over 6’9, including 2016 number one overall pick Ben Simmons, they have a dilemma that not many teams in the NBA have had to deal with.
Combine this with the sudden emergence of Joel Embiid, which has molded him into their center piece of their front court moving forward, the Sixers have been deciding on who they want to put on the trade block moving forward.
Over the past few months, it seems that they have been looking to trade Nerlens Noel. There have been rumors as to why Philadelphia would want to trade Noel, with some of them being his health, offensive skillset, and maturity level.
According to ESPN, one team that is interested in the young Sixers center is the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Philadelphia’s very available Nerlens Noel, but sources say Toronto’s initial preference in the wake of losing Jared Sullinger (foot) to injury is to give more minutes to various younger players (such as rookies Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl) so they get first crack at filling the void.
This is interesting to see because the Raptors should seem pretty content with who they have at center with Jonas Valanciunas at the starting center position. The Raptors could definitely use a solid power forward but Nerlens Noel was not very efficient on either ends on the floor when he played power forward next to Jahlil Okafor at center.
On the other hand, I can see where this trade could work out for both teams. The Sixers obviously have a loaded front court, and when Okafor is back to 100% strength and Ben Simmons is back in January, Nerlens may unfortunately be the odd man out. The Sixers are looking for playmakers in the future and they just are not sure if Nerlens can provide that.
For Toronto, their GM Masai Ujiri has been known to make deals on big men at a cheap price. He did it when he traded for JaVale Mcgee in Denver, so don’t be surprised if he can do it again.
Nerlens Noel is still out for a few more weeks after he had successful knee surgery, so it would be wise for Toronto to wait and see how that injury holds up.