Nerlens Noel

Report: 76ers could flip Bogut to Celtics

Report: 76ers could flip Bogut to Celtics

After being shipped to Philadelphia in a deal for Nerlens Noel Thursday, Andrew Bogut figures to be traded again ahead of the 3 p.m. trade deadline. 


According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics are in play for the veteran center’s services. 

In 26 games for Dallas this season, the 32-year-old Bogut has averaged 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. 

Noel makes the most of minutes vs. hometown Celtics

Noel makes the most of minutes vs. hometown Celtics

BOSTON – This was not Nerlens Noel’s first trip back home to play in front of family and friends who make the twice-a-year pilgrimage to see the Everett, Mass. native play against the Boston Celtics.

There have been rumors about him potentially returning for a longer stay – via trade to Boston – for months.


Noel spoke out angrily after playing just eight minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers, but cooler heads have prevailed since then in large part because his biggest complaint – playing time – doesn’t seem to be as big an issue anymore.

Noel certainly made the most of his time on the floor Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to knock off his hometown team the Boston Celtics who prevailed with a 110-106 victory over the Sixers.

The 6-foot-10 forward certainly did his part to help the Sixers’ cause, scoring 13 points off the bench on 6-for-8 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

It was his second-highest scoring game this season, one in which injuries have limited him to having appeared in just nine games.

“When I get out there I’m going to play my game,” Noel said. “I’m going to play at a high level. I’ve been able to stay mentally focused throughout this whole process, not let it affect my game. As time goes along, I’ll continue to keep progressing in the right way.”

Sixers head coach Brett Brown acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges he has faced this season is developing a rotation for the team’s glut of big men which includes Noel, Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric.

In Boston’s win over Philadelphia on Thursday, Okafor did not play (coaches decision).

“There’s a body of work now that is enough to make some assumptions, some decisions in a more reasonable way,” Brown said. “It’s not like we all just met each other. We’ve been doing this for a while. The great challenge is sometimes pairings aren’t as successful as you wish they were. What does that mean? The ripple effects when you put people in different positions trickles down to other positions.  You’re trying to walk this line of development and finding wins; trying to find ways to compete.”

As challenging as it has been for Brown, dealing with it has required a level of patience that Noel admits has tested him.

“It’s been challenging,” he said. “But it’s trials and tribulations; you have to go through this in order to get to where you want to be. It’s been a long process the last three, four years. I’ve stayed with it and kept working on my game and try to make strides. I’ve done that but I still got some ways to. I really have to worry about what I can control.”

And despite all the rumors about being traded potentially to Boston, there’s absolutely nothing he can do about that one way or another.

“No matter what I’m still the same player,” Noel said. “Nobody can change me if I’m playing eight (minutes) or 38. I’m gonna go out and do my thing. Always have the mentality that I’m going to assert myself in any kind of situation. Time goes on and things take care of itself.”

Celtics-76ers preview: Philly heading in a positive direction

Celtics-76ers preview: Philly heading in a positive direction

BOSTON – In recent years, the Philadelphia brass has been selling their fans on this notion that by being really bad to get really good picks, would eventually pay off with a roster full of elite talent.

While the Sixers are far from being a squad with that kind of depth, but there’s no mistaking that they are slowly but surely heading in a more positive direction.

Nowhere is this more evident than tonight’s game in which the Boston Celtics find themselves hosting a Sixers team coming in with something we’ve seldom seen from them in recent years – momentum.

Boston (21-14) has won eight of its last 10 games which has them currently third in the East. Although the Sixers (9-24) are at the opposite end of the season win spectrum, they come into tonight’s game having won two in a row and will seek their first three-game winning streak of the season tonight.

One of the biggest concerns for head coach Brad Stevens and the Celtics will be how to handle the Sixers’ talented – but very youthful – frontline that includes Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Dario Saric and Nerlens Noel.

“They just have a ton of interior talent,” Stevens said.

Too much, in fact.

That’s why trade rumors will continue to swirl up until the trade deadline that at least one of the Sixers’ big men will be on the move with the most likely players being Okafor and Noel.

And the Celtics have been linked with both players, although league sources have remained steadfast in believing that Boston has a preference for Noel who grew up in Massachusetts.

Stevens has been consistent throughout his time in Boston in not worrying about which players the Celtics may or may not be pursuing via trade.

Instead he has placed all his attention on coaching the players he is given to work with and lately, those players have been healthy which has done wonders for the Celtics team chemistry and maybe just as important, their overall record.

Core guys for Boston like Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder have all made an impact this season while reaching career marks in a number of statistical categories.

But they’re starting to get more production from some of their X-factors, among them being Jaylen Brown.

Selected with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft, Brown has managed to remain relatively level-headed despite the usual ebb and flow associated with being a rookie in the NBA.

He has appeared in all 35 games this season for Boston, averaging 5.1 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 32.5 percent on 3’s.

In the last three games Brown has averaged 7.3 points and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 71.4 percent from the field.

On Dec. 3, the Celtics edged the Sixers 107-106 with Brown coming off the bench to score four points in 15 minutes of court time.

“(Tonight’s) a great opportunity to see how he progresses from Game one against a team, to Game two,” Stevens said. “So there’s always that new experience for guys that are invaluable when you’re 19, and playing a little bit.”

And unlike most high lottery picks, Brown didn’t join a team being viewed as the face of the franchise which in itself equates out to significant minutes from the start.

“He’s doing a pretty good job when you consider we got guys back and have accomplished something,” Stevens said. “We need him to add value to that.”

And even more so than the Sixers, the Celtics are also heading in the right direction as a franchise.