After a week off, the mailbag returns today. As always, you can catch up on previous editions right here. Enjoy.
@SEM3376: Do you think with injury after injury and a looming contract extension that the Sixers trade Noel this year?
Outside of the ACL injury that cost him his rookie year, I wouldn't really say Noel is injury prone. He played in 75 games last season, and has rarely missed an extended period of time due to injury. He picks up a couple nicks and bruises (or elbows to the face) on occasion, but nothing that keeps him out for more than a game or two. I don't think that, or a contract extension, would be grounds for trading him. You can only hold out on paying big money for so long, and Nerlens still isn't one of those guys where you'd have to break the bank to keep him. Something in the ballpark of what the Milwaukee Bucks gave John Henson I think would be pretty fair.
But this has been a bit of a down year for Nerlens, and his perforamnce along with the addition of Jahlil Okafor is the main reason his name might pop up in trade talks. I continue to believe that if he can replicate his numbers from last season, Noel is a far more valuable player than Okafor is. But the issue always has been that the two of them playing together would be a struggle, and it's hurting Nerlens more than anyone else on the team. However, if the Sixers are serious about adding Mike D'Antoni and running a really fast-paced offense, Noel is the best big man on the team for that system.
My guess is that between trading Noel or Okafor, it may just come down to who you can get the most value for. I just wouldn't be so quick to give up on Noel, especially if offensive change is in the works.
Anthony Merritt (via email): If the rumors are true that we are considering signing Shane Battier and Elton Brand, who are the first two cut?
Well, I can't imagine they would sign both. Having two guys who just ride the end of your bench because they're here to babysit seems a bit redundant to me. But I do think they'll sign one guy who fits that mold, meaning the Sixers would have to make a corresponding roster move.
My best guess would be Christian Wood, although that's not something I would be happy about. He makes the most sense, considering he's spent some time in Delaware recently, and has struggled to get minutes with the Sixers even in blowouts. It's really unfortunate, because I think Wood has the potential to be a really talented player, and Philadelphia has struggled to find some solid front court pairings. Monday's game against the Bulls was the first time Wood has logged over five minutes in a game since November 18, and he was impactful. Getting rid of a guy like Wood to bring in a Battier-type would be annoying because you're sacrificing a roster spot for somebody who has zero chance of helping you on the court, but it may get to that point anyway. Hopefully Wood would agree to sign with Delaware, and the team can bring him back in case of injury.
@balltillyhufall: Who do you think would be a good fit here via trade?
If the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to clean house, I would probably make a call about Ryan Anderson. He's been one of the few bright spots about the Pelicans this year, and I think he would fill some holes for the Sixers. Anderson's the perfect stretch four you can put next to any one of the Sixers big men, shooting right on par with his career average of 37.8% from beyond the arc. One knock on him is that he's a pretty abysmal defender, but he can rebound, and also provides that veteran presence Colangelo would certainly be looking to bring in.
The biggest problem with Anderson is the fact he's a free agent after this year, and I imagine he would like to find his way to a contending team rather than one that's stuck in a rebuild. Still, Philadelphia would have his bird rights (as well as a boatload of cash), and maybe they can convince him they're building something special here.
Mike Levin suggested a trade of Okafor and Isaiah Canaan for Anderson and the Pelicans top-3 protected pick in 2016 that seems to be getting some play in the Pellies blog community. Make the phone call, Sam. You've already ripped off Dell Demps once before.
@senortalone: What are the rotations once Wroten/Marshall can play real minutes?
Kendall Marshall certainly starts, likely with Isaiah Canaan as the starting two guard. I dislike Canaan's game as much as the next guy, but Philadelphia needs guys who can shoot and space the floor out as much as possible. Canaan can do that, albeit inefficiently. He's also proven to look much more comfortable playing off ball than running the point, and with Marshall's passing skills, that back court could have a little life to it.
Tony Wroten likely becomes the first guard off the bench, and he'll see time with Nik Stauskas and Hollis Thompson. I think running the second unit is probably the best thing for Wroten. It provides a real change of pace from Kendall Marshall and the starters. He's also really struggled in his four games back from injury, and coming off the bench allows him to ease back into the rhythm of the game.
@TheRealMattBorg: What are the odds the Sixers would take Melo Trimble with one of the late first round picks?
My concern right now would be that he might not even be on the board when the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City Thunder pick rolls around. I'm probably in the minority here, but I think there's a case to be made for Trimble being worthy of a late lottery pick. He was excellent as a freshman at Maryland last year, and he continues to grow this season.
Trimble is a fantastic perimeter shooter, and can score on pull-ups, or in catch-and-shoot situations. His shot chart is a thing of beauty.
He has one of the nicest crossovers in all of college basketball, and he's super effective at weaving his way through traffic and getting into the lane. One of the complaints about him last year was that he isn't a good enough facilitator to be a point guard at the next level, but now that he's surrounded by better talent in his sophomore year, he's showcasing his passing abilities much more.
The most underrated thing about his game is just how composed he always is. Even in big game situations, there are no mindless turnovers or other bone headed mistakes. He knows how to lead, and once NBA teams get to talk to him, that's something they'll surely pick up on.
He'd be a really good fit in Philadelphia, and if they can snag him with one of their picks in the 20s, I think they would have a possible steal on their hands.
Thanks for reading. As always, you can send me your mailbag questions on Twitter @JakePavorsky, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org