The worst kept secret around the NBA is that Philadelphia is willing to trade Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Well, either that or that Rudy Gay wants out of Sacramento. Or that the Greenhouse Tavern is the best place to eat near the Q in Cleveland.
One team that could be interested in Noel, is the Toronto Raptors, although they are not making any rapid moves to pull the trigger, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
The Raptors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Philadelphia’s very available Nerlens Noel, but sources say Toronto’s initial preference in the wake of losing Jared Sullinger (foot) to injury is to give more minutes to various younger players (such as rookies Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl) so they get first crack at filling the void.
T0ronto wants to add at the four spot and Noel might fit next to the more traditional big Jonas Valanciunas.
Toronto can be patient, they are 3-1, have been good enough defensively, and have been pretty good on the glass this season — sixth in offensive rebounding percentage, 11th in defensive.
But this is something to watch. Philadelphia has a crowded frontcourt — if and when everyone gets healthy — and Brett Brown is just trying to figure out where all the pieces fit. Can Noel and Joel Embiid play well together? Embiid and Okafor? (Probably not.) Where does Dario Saric fit in? And we haven’t even touched on Ben Simmons yet. There will be some weeding out, but Bryan Colangelo is going to want something of real quality in return. The days of the Sixers stockpiling picks is over.