Sixers’ Colangelo on possible Okafor or Noel trade: “a lot of interest expressed” in players

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Jahlil Okafor can score inside and get a team boards, as a rookie he averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds a game. Nerlens Noel shows promise as a rim-protecting defensive force in the NBA.

When those two were on the court together last season, Philadelphia was outscored by 20 points per 100 possessions.

They can’t play together. Which is why new Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo is testing the market for both of them — with Joel Embiid coming in next season (*Colangelo knocks on wood) and Ben Simmons about to be drafted, one of the bigs has to go. Already there were rumors of Noel being part of a package to get Jeff Teague out of Atlanta.

Colangelo, in Italy for Adidas Eurocamp, of course, would not confirm any specifics to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com, but he did say he is getting teams calling about his bigs.

“I don’t know that there’s a likelihood,” Colangelo said (of one of them getting traded). “I can’t put a number on it. I would just simply tell you that there’s been conversations and there’s been a lot of interest expressed in some of the players that we have, but nothing that’s made enough sense to pull the trigger on. We’ve talked about the five position in particular.”

Expect the Sixers to make a number of moves this off-season, likely starting around the draft. As Colangelo told NBC back on the night of the draft lottery, they want to accelerate the process and start winning more games sooner rather than later. One of those moves will be trading a big, the only question is which one — Okafor or Noel — gets him the best deal.

In the story on NBA.com, Colangelo also confirms:

• Joel Embiid is not going to play Summer League.

• They are not going to trade the No. 1 pick. Now, their picks at 24 and 26 are a different story.