UPDATE: June 3
UPDATE: May 27
The 76ers do a fantastic job of keeping their team in the news despite being the worst team in the league. ESPN Insider Chad Ford said that the team has a “very high likelihood” of trading either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor.
Ford went on to say to CSNPhilly.com that there “might be a slight preference for Noel, to keep him around the Sixers, and I think you might be right, there might be a slight, better value for Okafor out on the market, but I think everyone agrees that that combination of those two players doesn’t necessarily work.”
Trading Okafor would take away a huge offensive weapon, but the way he’s acted off-court makes him more likely to be shipped away opposed to Noel. Nerlens isn’t the low-post juggernaut that his teammate is, but has exceptional length and athleticism, allowing him to be a force defensively and on the glass. However, bringing on either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram would almost fill the offensive void left by Okafor.
With the number one pick this year, followed by 24 and 26, the Sixers have the chance to make a ton of moves. Their roster is extremely forward heavy, with Noel and Okafor being two of their best. Along with them, Joel Embiid is expected to play this season finally, and Dario Saric, a young forward who’s been playing in Turkey, should be coming to the states sometime soon.
The Boston Celtics could be a potential trade partner with Philly as they reportedly tried to execute a deal to get Okafor at the trade deadline. Danny Ainge and the C’s got remarkably lucky in the draft and took home picks 3, 16, and 23. When asked if Boston would accept a trade for the no. 3 pick, Ford said, “I don’t know if Boston will do it, but for Philadelphia, 100 percent.”
The number three pick would let them land a great backcourt player like Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield, or Jamal Murray. If that deal didn’t work and they traded the number 16 pick, Philly could still get lucky and wind up with a great playmaker like Denzel Valentine or Tyler Ulis.
It’s all but a forgone conclusion that the organization is going with Ben Simmons at number one because they’re utterly enamored with him. Brett Brown has strong ties in Austrailia and with Simmons’ family, plus, he’s arguably the best all-around player in the draft.
With so many big occupying roster space, the Sixers’ guard rotation is less than stellar. Until they acquired Ish Smith last season, they had almost no offense from the point guard or shooting guard positions.