clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NBA Trade Rumors: Lakers interested in Sixers center Nerlens Noel

Noel’s name is back in the rumor mill.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So long as three highly-touted bigs continue to fight for minutes on the Sixers, their names will continue to surface in trade rumors. Nerlens Noel is back on the trade radar today, with a new team supposedly interested in his services: the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sean Deveney of Sporting News has the story:

The Lakers have inserted themselves on trade talks this season and will continue to do so. They had talks with Atlanta about Paul Millsap and expressed interest in Nerlens Noel, if the Sixers decide to go ahead with a deal for him. But the best asset the Lakers can put forth is a future draft pick, probably not until 2021 depending on how the lottery plays out this May. That’s going to limit their activity on the market, and there is a chance they could even be a seller with a veteran such as Luol Deng.

Noel makes perfect sense for the Lakers, who remain one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. He’s the type of active, athletic rim-protector who could help offset the deficiencies of their young core.

Unfortunately, there’s little the Lakers have to offer (or at least are willing to offer) to appeal to the Sixers. Los Angeles owes a first either this year or next to the Sixers, depending on where it falls this year, and their 2019 first belongs to the Orlando Magic, thanks to the Dwight Howard trade. Thanks to the Stepien Rule, the next available L.A. first to be had would be in the 2021 draft.

L.A. reportedly has no interest in parting with any of their “young core” — D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram — and is similarly reluctant to part with Jordan Clarkson or Larry Nance. This all sounds like a very typical Lakers trade rumor: “We’d like your good player, and don’t want to give up anything remotely valuable to obtain him!”

Even if the Lakers changed their mind on conceding say, Clarkson, dealing Noel for a guard with a bunch of average-ish skills doesn’t seem productive. The value of Noel’s rim protection off the bench, let alone as potential insurance for Embiid, is significantly higher than Clarkson’s package of skills. Making a deal for the sake of making a deal isn’t good management.

There’s clearly interest in Noel out there, but the question is whether the team can find a suitor willing and able to send something back that makes sense for the Sixers. If Luol Deng — a fading wing on a bad contract and over 30,000 minutes played — is among the best you have to offer, probably time to go back to the drawing board.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liberty Ballers Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Philadelphia 76ers news from Liberty Ballers