The Philadelphia 76ers are holding the NBA hostage right now, and they must be loving every minute of it. For years they have been the laughing stock of the league but for the next two months, they will become the team that every team wants to make a deal with.
With the NBA Trade Deadline approaching, there are countless NBA Trade Rumors floating around about the destination of 76ers PF/C, Nerlens Noel. Noel is not a happy camper with his role on the team diminishing with each bucket that Joel Embiid scores. There’s no need to be mad at Noel as he has proven himself in the league while the team waited for Embiid but it was the 76ers that continued to draft bigs instead of filling the need in the backcourt. Now, Noel may want out, the team knows this and they are standing their ground while also enjoying the attention Noel is receiving.[embedit snippet=”2″]
Why is a player from such a losing team so valuable to many teams?
Defense and rebounding win championships and that’s the two areas that Noel thrives in. There are plenty of teams that could use his services and the 76ers are well aware of such. To Noel, he may think the team is not showing him any respect by keeping him on the roster but he must understand the NBA is a business and the 76ers are doing what any smart team will do. They’re waiting until the 11th hour when teams will hit desperation mode and will offer up a king’s ransom for Noel.
Noel, for his career, averages 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game and what team, fighting for a playoff berth could not use that type of production? To make the situation better is that Noel is only in his third season in the NBA. He’s young, versatile and best of all, he’s cheap. But, the 76ers are holding him like a carrot as teams prepare to line up with their best offers.
The top teams that seem to want and need his services the most are the Portland Trail Blazers and the Boston Celtics. While each team is already playoff contenders they both are short on post defense. Noel will change the chances of each them with his presence but what will the Celtics and Blazers give up to get him is the question? The 76ers are solid in the frontcourt, it’s their guard rotation that must be improved. The Celtics can offer Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart and a pick, while the Blazers can throw in Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless or Evan Turner.
There are other teams that could get in the mix like the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and a few others. As I said earlier, Noel is a wanted man right now. But the 76ers are being smart about the process. There’s no need for them to show their hand too early in the process. By February these same teams will have no choice but to sweeten the pot and that’s when Noel will find himself in anther city, quite possibly playing for an NBA championship.
This is a business and as bad as teams may want Noel, the 76ers are looking out for their future.