The Philadelphia 76ers have an overcrowded front court and their general manager, Bryan Colangelo, has admitted that the team is trying to find a good deal for Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel or Joel Embiid.
The Sixers used their lottery picks to draft three centers in consecutive back drafts between 2013 and 2015 (Noel, Embiid and Okafor). However, Noel missed his rookie season in 2013-14 with a knee surgery. A year later, Sixers drafted Embiid, another injury-prone big man who missed his first two seasons with recurring foot worries.
Joel Embiid the wild card?
With a healthy Embiid set to make his NBA debut next season, it’s hard to foresee Noel and/or Okafor staying with the team. Also, Sixers are set to debut international sensation Dario Saric, another front court prospect. Ben Simmons, drafted No.1 overall this year, has been playing power forward in the summer league. How do Sixers accommodate so many front court players?
“There’s no question you can look at our roster and say we have some unbalance. We’re top heavy. We have some good talent there.” Colangelo told SirusXM NBA Radio on Wednesday.
Colangelo admitted that there has been a lot of interest for Okafor and Noel but the team is trying to figure out the best possible deal. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do with everybody. When you look at the calls coming in, quite frankly, everyone’s trying to poach a big man from us.”
Jahlil Okafor to Boston rumor dies…
Prior to last month’s NBA Draft, the Celtics and Sixers were close to completing a deal that would have sent Okafor and Robert Covington to Boston for the No.3 pick. Celtics botched that trade and proceeded to draft Jaylen Brown with the No.3 pick. It’s unlikely that Boston re-visits the Okafor trade.
Earlier this week, Jahlil Okafor went on a twitter rant to question the veracity of the trade rumors surrounding him. Colangelo said the team was fully behind Okafor. “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 took over as the GM after Sam Hankie was fired earlier this year.
Who gets traded first: Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel? Or will Sixers find a suitor for the injury-prone Embiid?