After not being unceremoniously dealt for a draft pick or player last week at the draft, Nerlens Noel's name, once again, has appeared in trade rumors regarding the Philadelphia 76ers. Per ESPN's Zach Lowe, Noel has piqued the interest of Masai Ujiri and the Raptors, who are seeking depth in their frontcourt.
The Raptors will need to move at least one big deal to have any hope of retaining both DeMar DeRozan and Biyombo, and teams will call about DeMarre Carroll. Toronto has already approached Philly about a deal sending out a rotation player -- perhaps Terrence Ross, and other goodies -- in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could then assume Biyombo's backup center role, according to league sources. The talks haven't gained much traction yet.
Lowe suggests that former first-round pick Terrence Ross could be the centerpiece in a possible deal to land Noel for Toronto, but four years into the league, Ross's appeal has diminished. Relegated to a second unit role last season, Ross averaged 9.9 PPG and 2.5 RPG, while shooting 43.1 percent from the floor, and his basketball ability hasn't yet caught up to his elite athleticism.
Toronto has other assets in 2015 first-round pick Delon Wright, a physical specimen at the point, or even shooting guard Norman Powell. Powell was electric last year in the playoffs and might have more value, playing on a rookie scale contract, than Ross, whose contract extension pays him roughly $10.5 million per year until 2019. It was evident who could handle an important role late in the season, with Powell's abilities (three-point proficiency, on-ball defense) highlighted in Toronto's playoff run.
While the Raptors could unload young pieces to clear room for their impact players, Ross would be only a starting point, arguably, for Noel. Those "goodies" would have to be mighty sweet to pry the center from Philadelphia.