The Golden State Warriors are desperate for a rim protector in the aftermath of Andrew Bogut’s exit. According to a league source, they aren’t opposed to the idea of trading Shaun Livingston for Nerlens Noel.
The Philadelphia 76ers have openly acknowledged that Noel, the third-year center, has been on the trading block since June’s NBA Draft.
Noel, himself, has vented his frustration over the Sixers’ logjam in the frontcourt rotation.
Nerlens Noel on the center logjam: "I don't see a way of it working."
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) September 26, 2016
This offseason, the Warriors added centers Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee to try and fill the void left by Bogut.
However, their preseason Global Series game against the Toronto Raptors this past Saturday proved that Golden State is far from the elite defensive unit that reached the previous two NBA Finals.
Even though Bogut didn’t receive too much playing time as the starting center, since the Warriors preferred to close out games with Draymond Green at the 5, the Australian was still a pivotal piece to their success.
Nerlens Noel to Warriors?
Noel, who becomes a restricted free agent next year, could be the ideal rim protector that the Warriors need.
The athletic 6-foot-11 Kentucky product has the ability to guard multiple positions and will fit in nicely with coach Steve Kerr’s defensive schemes which involves a lot of switching.
ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss, who covers the Warriors, admitted after Saturday’s game that the team looked disjointed and lacked chemistry against the Raptors.
Meanwhile, the Sixers could now be reluctant to trade Noel after rookie Ben Simmons’ freak injury and the fact that Joel Embiid doesn’t look NBA-ready during scrimmages.
“I’m here to do my job and play as hard as I can play for the city of Philadelphia. I’ve always loved the fans from the jump. It’s probably one of the realest cities in the country with just genuine passion and love for the sport,” Noel told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.
According to the Big Lead, Noel can breathe easier about his future in Philadelphia but it depends on how quickly Embiid is ready to start games.
Patrick McCaw replacing Livingston?
ESPN’s Trade Machine has approved the swap between Nerlens Noel and Shaun Livingston.
Typically, the Warriors would be reluctant to trade Livingston, Stephen Curry’s primary backup point guard.
However, the emergence of rookie Patrick McCaw and the fact that Livingston approaches free agency next year could propel the Warirors to pull the trigger on the proposed trade.
Also, the Sixers are still searching for quality players in their backcourt rotation. Livingston could be the perfect starting point guard, a possible upgrade from Jerryd Bayless.
After Saturday’s preseason game, Curry showered praise on McCaw, a second-round pick in this year’s draft.
“Play-making inside the paint, drive off passes, finding the open game, obviously defensively knows where to be, knocking down jump shots.” Curry said of McCaw.
“He’s got a lot of promise. He’s going to help us this year for sure. I like his confidence. He doesn’t say much, he’s very quiet, but when you see his body language, he looks like he belongs and that’s half the battle right there. “
Should the Warriors trade Shaun Livingston for Nerlens Noel?