NBA Trade Rumors: Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor Good As Gone?
Much of the NBA trade rumor mill has centered on the Philadelphia 76ers big men, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. With Ben Simmons coming onboard and Joel Embiid reportedly set to rejoin this season, the Sixers are overloaded with big men.Advertisement
That of course is not new news. It was evident even before the 2016 NBA Draft that the Sixers would find them in their current state.
Hence who should the Sixers move first, Noel or Okafor? Both?
Right now, Noel is leading the race in the NBA trade rumor mill with multiple teams interested in the 22-year-old University of Kentucky standout. He is entering his third season and has proven to be a good rim protector and reliable front man.
The Boston Celtics are the ones leading the mix, followed by other teams like the Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans. To date, they have been nothing more than rumors with no one budging.
What about Okafor?
Okafor is a proven offensive sock whose waterloo is his defense. That weakness was singled out as early as the 2015 NBA Draft and much of that showed last season.
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Then again, all that could be improved with the right guidance. His off-court charades have added unwanted attention, placing him in a bad light. But like his defense issues, that too can be controlled with the right guy.
Notable coaches that could whip him into shape would be guys like San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. He is a motivator but inadvertently someone who can put guys in the right direction.
A stint with the Spurs could make sense since the Spurs are looking for young, big men to make up their frontcourt. LaMarcus Aldridge is there as well as Kawhi Leonard. So why not the Spurs?
Either way, Noel and/or Okafor are likely to move at some point moving forward. The only question now is whether it will happen before or during the season.