The most talked about name on the lips of fans, players and GMs is Nerlens Noel. There will be countless articles about where the Philadelphia 76ers Center will end up that it will drive you insane. He may not be a Dwight Howard or DeAndre Jordan type player but he is a great upside, and he’s cheap. I’ve done a few pieces on him but going through all the teams it dawned on me that the Los Angeles Lakers should make a run at him.
The Lakers are not quite in rebuild mode anymore. They have enough talent to contend in the Western Conference, and not just contend but I still believe they will grab that 8th seed for a playoff spot. During the offseason, the Lakers made two huge mistakes. One was Luol Deng and the other was Timofey Mozgov. Deng has been invisible so far this season. To be honest, he just doesn’t fit with this young core of guys. Mozgov has had his moments but neither has provided the production you would expect from $70M+ players.[embedit snippet=”2″]
The Lakers can easily fix this problem.
Noel will be on the market before the season is over and if the Lakers are looking to make a push for the playoffs then Noel needs to be in Purple & Gold. Mozgov is averaging eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes but he is not the rim protector they were hoping he would be. Noel will get you two per game with averages of 11 points and eight rebounds. But the best part about Noel is his price tag. He’s currently on the books for $3M, he’s younger and plays with a passion Mozgov does not have.
For this deal to work the Lakers may need to find a 3rd party as the Sixers may not be willing to eat the large salary the Lakers paid in the offseason. What the Lakers and 76ers can do is pull the New Orleans Pelicans into the mix and offer the 76ers, Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik. At that point, all sides get what they are craving. The Pelicans get a player that stays in the post in Mozgov, allowing Anthony Davis breathing room on the defensive end. The 76ers will get much need bench help with Asik in the case of an injury to Joel Embiid or Jahlil Okafor and a starting point guard in Evans.
The trade works out well for the Lakers money and team wise. Noel doesn’t look to score but he is a monster on the glass and one of the best shot blocking players in the league.