Nerlens Noel, the Philadelphia 76ers center, is still available via trade and the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to secure the athletic big man, per a league source.
The Lakers have had a modest offseason which saw them signing Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng in free agency besides trading for Jose Calderon from the Chicago Bulls.
How will Nerlens Noel fit in?
Since Mozgov, Ivaka Zubac and Tarik Black are already part of the roster, the Lakers don’t have too much room at the 5 position. However, it’s possible that Lakers give up Zubac and/or Black alongwith Lou Williams and Nick Young to acquire the services of Noel.
Last week, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reported that the Lakers are not done making offseason trades and are saving up cap room with an “unnamed trade target in mind”.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding the mystery trade target. According to this Sixers Sense writer, the Lakers and Sixers could be making a deal for Noel. Since Noel is a restricted free agent next year, the Sixers don’t have too much leverage in trade talks and could be forced to lower their expectations.
“The tough part would be figuring out what the Lakers would offer in return. It really seems like Sixers fans wouldn’t take anything less than Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, or Jordan Clarkson for Noel, but there is no way the Lakers will do that type of a deal.
“Although the fans don’t run the team by any means, Bryan Colangelo has shown that he’s not going to be handing out his big men for nothing, and he seems to be overvaluing them a bit given the current market for big men,” wrote the Sixers Sense writer while speculating over the possible Noel-to-Lakers transaction.
Sixers trying to find suitor…
For several months, ESPN’s Marc Stein has reported that the Sixers are desperately trying to find apt trades for one of Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. While Okafor has gauged a ton of interest from nearly half a dozen teams, Noel’s price has been inquired by only a few teams, who are unwilling to give up prized assets for the former Kentucky Wild Cat.
According to Silver Screen and Roll, the Lakers would struggle to land a superstar with the $13 million left in cap room. However, they would be able to accommodate Noel while giving up an asset or two. “So, before you jump on the trade machine to find an impact player in the $13 million range, look instead at guys in the final year of their deal on teams that would benefit from dumping that salary,” wrote the Lakers fan website.
If Nerlens Noel lands with the Lakers, he will assume the role as the starting center next season.