Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel, the pair of talented bigs, face an uncertain future with the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the 2015-16 NBA season. The question is: will they make it to training camp?
For most of the offseason, Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown have maintained that the team is trying to trade one of Okafor or Noel, if not both, ahead of the new season.
With Joel Embiid and Dario Saric set to make their much-awaited NBA debuts, besides the emergence of rookie Ben Simmons, the Sixers have an over-crowded froncourt which makes it tough to accommodate both Noel and Okafor.
On Tuesday, Zach Harper of CBS Sports discussed a bunch of trade scenarios for both Noel and Okafor.
“It’s not much of a secret that either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor — or maybe even both — will probably be traded away from the Philadelphia 76ers at some point. These rumors are nothing new. They ramped up on draft night and are going strong again,” he wrote.
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Jahlil Okafor to Lakers?
Harper opined that the Lakers and Sixers should consider a trade which sends Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle to Philadelphia in exchange for Okafor, a player that Los Angeles passed on during the 2015 NBA Draft.
“The only way you start getting proper value back in return is getting Jordan Clarkson in the deal. The Lakers just re-signed him to a four-year, $50 million and he can’t be traded until December 14, but that would have to be the starting point.
“Then maybe the Lakers part with Julius Randle, Lou Williams and a protected first-round pick. That would probably be enough value for the Sixers to feel good about letting Okafor go,” he wrote.
Perhaps that’s too much of an asking price for Jahlil Okafor. But the Lakers ought to consider trading Randle and Lou Williams, which should seem like a fair return for Philadelphia.
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Nerlens Noel to Celtics?
With regards to Noel, Haper made an interesting trade proposition for the Boston Celtics which woulds see Marcus Smart being shipped to Philadelphia.
Remember, the Celtics were very close to acquiring Okafor prior to the NBA Draft in June. Several reports claimed that Celtics GM Danny Ainge wanted to get both Okafor and Noel for the No.3 draft pick, with which he selected Jaylen Brown.
“From the Sixers’ perspective, this addresses their perimeter issues (by acquiring Smart), and while you could argue you’re selling low on Noel here, you could also argue you’d be buying low on Smart. For Boston, it would be all about roster flexibility,” he wrote.
The NBA insider also argued that Noel and Okafor don’t mess together as evidenced from last year when the Sixers finished with a league-worst 10-72 record.
“The logic is that the two simply don’t fit together, and the numbers support this theory — last year, when Noel and Okafor were on the floor together, the Sixers were outscored by 20 points per 100 possessions.”
How long before the Sixers strike apt trade deals for Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel?