Dan Feldman

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Report: Potential trade partners getting negative feedback when researching Nerlens Noel

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Nerlens Noel reportedly wants the 76ers to trade him. They want to trade at least one of Noel or Jahlil Okafor. (Presumably, Joel Embiid is now off the table.)

Why hasn’t a deal happened yet?

Adrian Wojnarowski on The Vertical Podcast with Woj:

Nerlens Noel in Philly, the research teams have done on him is not good. They don’t get good reports back on their intel, how he’s carried himself there, of his habits. It’s not a great return. So, there are teams willing to do deal and bring him in, but they don’t want to give up much.

Noel reportedly racked up about $25,000 in fines for repeated tardiness and other offenses as a rookie. Earlier this year, he publicly criticized Philadelphia’s roster makeup, and after general manager Bryan Colangelo pushed back, Noel doubled down.

What does that tell us? Noel hasn’t always handled a difficult situation well.

He sat out his entire first professional season, which had to test him. In that time, the 76ers developed what Colangelo admitted was a losing culture.

The big question: How would Noel react to a new environment?

Any team that trades for him will have a less-crowded center situation. Every team has been more committed to winning the last few years than Philadelphia.

Maybe Noel is part of the problem, and he’d infect a new team. Maybe Noel is a victim of Sam Hinkie’s unprecedented tanking plan.

The truth is probably somewhere in between. My money is on the latter being closer to accurate, though it’s quite possible Noel has developed bad habits with the 76ers that could be difficult to reverse.

I don’t blame teams for being reluctant to trade for him. Noel will head into restricted free agency next summer, and he could be in line for a big contract. That’s a dangerous commitment for a player with an unproven-at-best, shaky-at-worst reputation.

If Noel wants out of Philadelphia, he should heed Brett Brown’s advice: keep his head down and focus on his on-court strengths. Then, hope other teams notice.

NBA: Wizards benefitted from incorrectly uncalled foul in win over Hornets

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Despite nearly blowing a 12-point fourth-quarter lead, the Wizards escaped with a 109-106 win over the Hornets on Wednesday.

How did Washington hang on? An officiating error sure didn’t hurt.

John Wall should’ve been called for a a foul for disrupting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s speed/quickness/balance/rhythm with 59.8 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Wall (WAS) makes contact with Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA) that affects his SQBR.

Because the Wizards were in the penalty, a correct call would’ve given Kidd-Gilchrist two free throws. Instead, he missed a jumper, and Washington grabbed the rebound.

While in intentional-foul mode, Charlotte cut its deficit to two.

We’ll obviously never know what would’ve happened with a correct call, including whether Kidd Gilchrist – who has shot 74% from the line this season and 70% for his career – would’ve made both free throws. The rest of the game could’ve played out differently.

But an incorrect call robbed the Hornets of two free throws in a game where they were forced to intentionally foul because they were down two points.

NBA: Heat’s Hassan Whiteside got away with defensive three-second violation in key stop against Pacers

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With 26 points and 22 rebounds, Hassan Whiteside was seemingly everywhere in the Heat’s 95-89 win over the Pacers on Wednesday – including in the paint longer than he should’ve been on a critical defensive stop.

Whiteside got away with a defensive three-second violation with 36.5 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Whiteside (MIA) is in the paint without actively guarding an opponent for longer than three seconds.

A correct call would’ve given Indiana a free throw by any Pacer on the court – likely Paul George, who’s shooting 93% from the line this season and 84% for his career. Then, Indiana would’ve retained the ball with another chance to score.

Instead, Whiteside’s positioning helped force the Pacers into a difficult shot, which they missed. Whiteside grabbed the rebound, and Indiana had to begin intentionally fouling, allowing the Heat to pull away.

JaVale McGee grabs Klay Thompson’s hand, avoids missed high-five (video)

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JaVale McGee just wanted to show Klay Thompson appreciation for a nice alley-oop pass – not become the latest player laughed at over a missed high-five.

So, the Warriors center took matters into his own hands. Literally.

Nikola Jokic throws dazzling one-handed look-off pass (video)

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Nikola Jokic is an incredible passer for his age and size, but this assist to Kenneth Faried from the 21-year-old center went above and beyond.