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Report: Nerlens Noel prefers 76ers trade him

Nerlens Noel

Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel poses for a photograph during media day at the NBA basketball team’s practice facility, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Camden, N.J. Shortly after 76ers president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said he is not actively shopping any of his players, Noel openly wondered how he, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid can co-exist as the team’s three big men. “I don’t see a way of it working,” Noel said Monday, one day before the Sixers’ first full workout in their new practice facility along the New Jersey riverfront across from Philadelphia. “It’s just a logjam.” (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Nerlens Noel called the 76ers’ center situation – with himself, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor – “silly.” Noel then chose to undergo surgery (team’s phrasing) and rehab away from Philadelphia.

After spending three dismal seasons with the 76ers, it seems he wants out.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Noel has yet to appear in a game this season after electing to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery last month, but word is he’d still prefer to be shipped to a new address with so many big men to battle for playing time in Philly. Count on the Sixers to accommodate him eventually.

The 76ers know their big-man situation is untenable, and it’ll only get more difficult to manage when No. 1 pick Ben Simmons returns. A power forward, Simmons will reduce opportunities to play two-center lineups.

But Philadelphia would prefer to handle this quietly. That’s why Bryan Colangelo rejected Noel’s standing to complain publicly and Brett Brown is urging Noel to play to his strengths. The 76ers want to maximize Noel’s trade value.

They reportedly previously preferred to trade Okafor – Embiid has looked like a potential franchise player, not a player to move – but Noel’s value might be higher than Okafor’s. The return matters greatly in determining which player to deal.

So does a player’s desire to stay, especially when he’ll be a free agent next summer. Philadelphia’s easiest move might just be appeasing Noel and clearing its logjam. Determining whether or not to match an offer sheet for him in restricted free agency won’t be pretty.

Noel trade rumors have percolated even before his season debut. Once he gets back on the court, expect them to only intensify.