Nerlens Noel, a native of Boston, is reportedly pushing for a trade to the Celtics, per several reports.
The Philadelphia 76ers center has been subject to trade rumors for the better part of the year, with Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo conceding that his team is desperate to ship either Noel or Jahlil Okafor before of the start of the new season.
Earlier this week, Noel tweaked the bio on his Twitter page to the following: “#BostonStrong – Former Kentucky Wildcat – Current Philadelphia 76er!!” Noel, originally from Everett, Massachusetts, posted a similar message on the bio page of his Facebook account.
Several news outlets have speculated that Noel is sending a message to his front office, with the intention of joining the Celtics before the start of the new season.
NBA Schedule 2016-17: Mark Your Dates For Key Matches
Nerlens Noel to Boston a lock?
According to CSN New England, there is mutual interest between the Celtics and Noel. “Noel has not asked for a trade, but multiple league sources told CSNNE.com that he is ‘very open’ to being traded if the Sixers decide to make that decision.
“Another league source contacted by CSNNE.com on Thursday morning indicated that the Celtics still have a high level of interest in Noel but no deal is imminent,” added Boston beat writer Sherrod Blakely.
I'm blessed to be from Boston. Love my city.
— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) August 11, 2016
The Sixers, who drafted coveted forward Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, have a battery of big men in their roster. With Joel Embiid returning from injury, and with international sension Dario Saric joining the team, the likes of Okafor and Noel could become obsolete.
Philadelphia has maintained in the past that they intend to build the team around Simmons and Embiid, meaning both Okafor and Noel can be acquired with the right price.
Recently, Colangelo told Sirius Radio that his team was patiently waiting for a good deal.“We’re not going to make a bad deal just to make a deal. I think we can be a better basketball team if we can distribute that talent better. Maybe take one of those assets and address other needs on the roster.
“I think right now it’s best to say we like all of them, we want to see if we can make the most out of each of them. At the end of the day, the reality says one has to go at some point but only when the deal is right,” added Colangelo, who earlier acknowledged that the team was actively shopping Noel.
Will Nerlens Noel get his wish and begin the new season as a Celtic? Who will Boston be prepared to give up for the services of the athletic center?