The Philadelphia 76ers traded 2013 lottery pick Nerlens Noel on Thursday, and they didn’t get a huge haul in return.
Noel, once the No. 6 pick, netted the 76ers a bench player in Justin Anderson, a first round pick that reportedly may turn into a pair of second rounders, and Andrew Bogut, who will be traded or bought out by Philadelphia. Noel may not be a star, but he has career averages of 10.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
The reason for the weak return, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, is Noel’s looming restricted free agency.
Team had trouble generating a market for Noel w/ pending restricted free agency status and potential near-max offer sheets expected.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) February 23, 2017
That restricted free agency was cited as a possible stumbling block for a trade when Noel rumors first started popping up. Essentially, teams may feel there is no reason to give up a lot for Noel now when they can try to sign him after the season. And you have to have a lot of confidence in Noel’s value if you’re planning to pay him near-max money while giving up assets for him.
Philly made the deal anyway and they didn’t get a whole lot in return, but it seems likely that they just really wanted to move one of their big men.
The Dallas Mavericks are acquiring Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news on the trade and says the Mavs are sending Philly Justin Anderson, a first-round pick, and Andrew Bogut’s expiring contract for Noel.
The 76ers have been trying to move Jahlil Okafor to fix their surplus of big men, but they haven’t been able to find the right deal yet. Instead they are trading Noel, who was the No. 6 pick in 2013.
The former Kentucky big man will be a restricted free agent after the season, and the Mavericks are hoping to sign him long term.
Bogut was in his first season in Dallas and has expected to be traded prior to the deadline. He is on an expiring contract and making $11 million this season. Philly may choose to buy him out or trade him elsewhere.
Philly likely re-routing Andrew Bogut, just acquired from Dallas w/Justin Anderson & pick for Nerlens Noel. Boston possibility, per source.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 23, 2017
Anderson is in his second year in the NBA after being a first-round pick in 2015 out of Virginia. He has just been a bench option at forward thus far in his career.
The first-round pick Dallas is sending Philly doesn’t have as much value as you would think on the surface. ESPN’s Marc Stein says it is protected for spots 1-18 in the first.
It sure sounds like the Philadelphia 76ers want to move one of their big men before Thursday’s trade deadline.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski on The Vertical podcast, the Sixers may circle back and entertain offers for Nerlens Noel if they cannot find a suitable deal involving Jahlil Okafor.
A complicating factor is that Noel will be a restricted free agent this summer, and thus will get significantly more expensive.
“If [the 76ers’ can’t get a deal for Okafor done before the deadline, I’m told that it’s possible they’ll start – there are still teams still checking on Noel, re-engaging on him,” Wojnarowski said, via HoopsHype. “What complicates it for Noel is that he’s a restricted free agent, and teams want to know ‘what is it going to cost to us to re-sign him.’ And it’s going to be a big number.”
The Vertical’s Chris Mannix has heard that the Sixers are struggling to move Okafor because they value him more highly than the rest of the league does.
“They still value Okafor as a third overall pick,” Mannix said. “That’s their prerogative, but the teams I’ve talked to do not value him as a third overall pick.”
Okafor came very close to being traded before the All-Star Game, and the Sixers seem very motivated to move him. However, it sounds like, for all the interest, they’re just not finding the right offers right now.
Nerlens Noel and the Philadelphia 76ers appear to have kissed and made up.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, the 22-year-old big man seemed pleased with his current situation on the team.
“At this moment in time, I’m definitely satisfied with where I’m at and the team’s rotation,” Noel said, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think I’m able to go out there and still affect the game, change the game multiple ways.
“This probably has been the closest team I’ve been on since I’ve been a Sixer,” he continued. “So I think that definitely speaks for itself.”
Noel has found his groove lately as a backup to Joel Embiid at the center position, averaging 10.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game in the month of January. Coming off the bench has also helped Noel maximize his skills of rim protection and finishing ability around the basket.
But it wasn’t too long ago that Noel was openly blasting the Sixers’ frontcourt situation as “silly” before the season began. Even as recently as December, the former No. 6 overall pick appeared to be furious with his lack of minutes.
Apparently, getting that playing time went a long way towards appeasing Noel. It’s also helped that he seems to have a tight-knit group of teammates and that the Sixers, who have been the bottom feeders of the NBA for the entirety of Noel’s time there, have won four of their last five games.
But Noel’s recent rejuvenation has come at the expense of fellow young big Jahlil Okafor (who has been a DNP for three straight games and counting), so Philly still has some work to do to in terms of finding a viable long-term solution that satisfies everyone.
Nerlens Noel is clearly the odd man out in a crowded Philadelphia 76ers front court, but one of his teammates wants to see the big man get more playing time.
Following Tuesday’s loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Joel Embiid said he would like to see Noel get more minutes. Embiid, who has primarily played alongside fellow center Jahlil Okafor, told reporters he believes he and Noel would have great chemistry on the court.
“I also want to get on the court and see what we can look like together because I like him and I want play with everybody,” Embiid said, via Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. “I feel like if we’re trying something, I feel like we should try the other thing too. Hopefully in the future they do that.”
Noel has been taken out of the Sixers’ rotation for the foreseeable future. He logged just under seven minutes Tuesday night and had four points and three rebounds.
“Because I have some type of relationship with him, I think I’m going to get him going, especially on the defensive end,” Embiid added. “Just being aggressive, blitzing every pick-and-roll, just flying all over the place, I think we can really do that while we’re on the court. Then offensively, I’m sure we’re going to figure that out.”
Embiid also has a great relationship with Okafor, but it seems like he feels 76ers coach Brett Brown is treating Noel unfairly. That probably has something to do with the way Noel spouted off last week over his lack of playing time.
The longer the Sixers hold onto Noel, the more his trade value decreases. Interested teams can clearly see that there is not enough room in Philly for Noel, and they will likely be looking for a bargain given the reports we have heard.
Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel problem keeps metastasizing out of control.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown said on Sunday that Noel is out of the team’s rotation for the foreseeable future, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Nerlens Noel is out of the rotation for the foreseeable future, according to Brett Brown
— Bob Cooney (@BobCooney76) December 18, 2016
This comes just two days after Noel saw only eight minutes of action in a 100-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and openly moped to the media afterwards about his lack of playing time.
It’s been clear for quite some time now that the 22-year-old big man badly wants out of Philly. But with negative reports like this about his work ethic now combined with zero ability to showcase his trade value for other teams, this saga could continue to drag on for a lot longer.
The Philadelphia 76ers lost at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, and afterwards Nerlens Noel went off about his lack of playing time.
The Philly big man played just eight minutes and scored only two points in the 100-89 defeat. He said it was “crazy” how little he got to play.
Nerlens Noel: "I think I'm too good to be playing 8 minutes. That's crazy. That's crazy. That's crazy. We need to figure this s— out."
— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) December 17, 2016
There are a few things going on here that Noel needs to consider. Let’s start with the fact that Noel is returning from knee and ankle injuries that have caused him to miss games. Then there is the larger issue that this was the first game the Sixers had the trio of Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor available in the same game.
Everyone wondered what would happen with Philly’s gluttony of big men once (or if) all were healthy at the same time. We just got our answer, and it’s not a good one for Noel. And his response also validates this report about him.