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76ers Nerlens Noel Is On The Raptors Radar

Rumors about the pending availability of 76ers power forward Nerlens Noel have been circulating all season as the logjam of power forwards and centers in Philadelphia becomes ever more acute. According to Basketball Insiders Editor Steve Kyler, the Raptors are one of very few teams looking at the 76ers big man.

The Philadelphia 76ers have conceded that center Nerlens Noel will not be part of the rotation going forward

While there is some urgency to getting the public dispute resolved, there is not a sense that a trade is close.

There are a couple of teams to watch on the Noel front, the biggest being the Toronto Raptors. It is unlikely that the Raptors mess with their team chemistry in moving a core player, but if the 76ers want some of the Raptors’ young players or non-core parts, Toronto would have interest in Noel, according to sources close to the situation.

The power forward/center was on the All-Rookie First team in 2014-15 and averaged 10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.7 blocks in his first two NBA seasons, however, he lost his place in the rotation to Joel Embiid and Jahil Okafor this year.

The issues with Noel have been injuries, some bad press about his work ethic (may or may not be true) and losing his spot in the rotation to guys that were drafted after him. Clutch Points Arlos Sara quotes a podcast on The Vertical, 

“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. There are teams willing to do the deal and bring him in, but they don’t want to give up much.”

Other teams know the 76ers are dealing from a position of weakness and with Noel in the final year of his rookie deal, any team trading for him could lose the big man to an unpalatable offer this summer when he enters restricted free agency.

Toronto could use an upgrade at power forward over the rookie Pascal Siakam, although the very athletic power forward will be tough to let go because of his obvious potential as a rim protector.

If the 76ers are willing to take a couple of the Raptors young players currently out of the rotation, president Masai Ujiri will have trouble saying no and rolling the dice on Noel. Otherwise, the 76ers are likely to be looking elsewhere.



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.






One thought on “76ers Nerlens Noel Is On The Raptors Radar

  1. George Postalian

    Unfortunately he’s not a risk that any team is willing to take / make for a number of reasons! While he’s prone to injury he’s also known for having a lower basketball IQ and will make ill-advised plays (passes, shots, dribbling, spacing, etc.) which puts undue stress on his teammates while on the floor. Raptors need a true power forward, first and foremost, and then a high quality back-up center – preferably both who are gifted offensively but more so are very defensively minded and fit well with the current players. We all know that they have an abundance of depth at the 1, 2 and 3 spots but lack depth at the 4 and 5 spots, especially come play-off time!! In crunch time Bebe, Jacob, Fred and Pascal are not seasoned enough to play any kind of meaningful minutes! Sure they can go smaller with Terence, Norm, Patrick, Demere, Cory, Demar, Kyle … may be Fred … and oh by the way, Bruno is definitely out of the picture (that’s a project that simply hasn’t panned out)!!

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