In this week's trade deadline edition, I answer questions about Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel's contract extension, a possible Dennis Schroder trade, and Jerry Colangelo's comments to the media.
@KorverAintMe: You think there is any chance the Sixers actually trade Okafor?
I'll inevitably regret this when he gets traded later today, but I think the chance that Jahlil Okafor gets moved is slim to none. There is zero purpose for this team to move on from either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel until they know whether or not Joel Embiid's body can hold up over the course of an 82 game season. If he can, then Philadelphia can get the ball rolling on a possible trade. But until they get to that point where they feel comfortable with Embiid's health -- which probably wouldn't be until next year's trade deadline at the very earliest -- it would be unwise for Philadelphia to move on from either one of their big men. They would either be getting rid of their best offensive threat or their best rim protector without the assurance that the one player who could fill both those voids is physically capable of doing it. Long term, one of these big men is going to eventually have to go, and I still feel like Okafor makes the most sense based off how his skill set fits in with the rest of the team. But in all likelihood, Philadelphia is going to have at least a couple more months to evaluate Okafor and his role with the team going forward. When they do opt to move on from Okafor or the other two main front court players on the team, it'll come at a time where the landscape of the team is much clearer.
@PirateBro: Could Nerlens Noel's contract situation make him available via trade because of team's timeline vs Noel's timeline?
I actually don't think the timing of a Noel extension is that bad. Philadelphia is expected to be pretty active this summer, and all signs point to this team trending upward rather quickly. There's an opportunity for the Sixers to turn this around in a short amount of time, and by the time his extension kicks in 2017-18, they should have a competitive roster. Not to mention, we're at the third and final year of this rebuild. This team needs to show some commitment to at least one of the pieces they've spent all this time being horrible for, and Noel is a perfect candidate for an extension. His role as a shot blocker and a pick-and-roll threat makes him easy to find a role for him on the Sixers roster for a long time, whether as a starter or coming off the bench. Every solid team has a player who fills a role similar to what Noel does, which makes him worth keeping around no matter where Philadelphia is in the next year or two.
@PatrickPhilbin: What are the chances Dennis Schroder would break out in a starting role with more minutes?
I think Schroder is best suited for a role similar to what he's in now; a backup point guard playing around 20 minutes a night. There's nothing about his game to me that really screams out potential starting ball handler to me. He has a higher usage rate than Jeff Teague does despite being a much less effective player, he's an abysmal three-point shooter and horribly inefficient as a scorer around the rim. Even if I thought he had any value as a starter, the lengths that they would have to go to trade for him and extend his contract wouldn't even make it worth it. If I had to guess, Atlanta would ask for the Miami pick and more, which would certainly be enough for me to balk at. Schroder is also going to be a restricted free agent in 2017-18, and with the cap skyrocketing over the next couple years, what he'll likely ask for and get is going to be much more than I am comfortable with giving him. The NBA is oversaturated with mediocre point guards, and there are few guards I find more average than Dennis Schroder.
@birdma21: What are your thoughts on Jerry Colangelo making comments that feel like swipes at Hinkie. Does he need to show power?
No, showing that he has power is the last thing I need to see. It's already been made rather evident that he's running the show at this point. I was all for hiring Colangelo at the time because it was clear that there are areas Sam Hinkie could use some help in, and Colangelo can certainly help with that. But the way in which he has carried himself, especially with the media, has been almost cringeworthy. Colangelo continues to play up his involvement with the team as some sort of superhero rescuing the day, all while putting down Sam Hinkie and making the franchise look as inept as possible before he got there. As a current employee of the team, taking potshots at how they were being run is a really bad look. His job to be to make the franchise look good rather than himself, and he's really failing at that. He should be using his time with the media to talk about the cohesion of the front office and the strong foundation they have laid for the future, but Colangelo seems more interested in beating his chest. It's a bad look for a franchise that has already been made to look lousy for the past several years, and his brash attitude could grow tiresome rather quickly.
Thanks for reading. As always, send me your questions on Twitter @JakePavorsky or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.