The Philadelphia 76ers logjam at the big man position hasn't exactly happened yet, but it's coming. Just not tonight because Nerlens Noel is out with an ankle sprain.
Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, and Nerlens haven't had the chance to make Brett Brown's decisions any tougher because all three of them can't seem to get on the court at the same time.
Since that has been the case, the trade chatter has been relatively quiet to start the season but that's likely to change as trade season approaches and Nerlens returns to the court.
As Nerlens will tell you himself, the roster hasn't changed. They're going to have a front court problem.
Jah or Nerlens? Nerlens or Jah? It's the question Sixers fans have been kicking around for what seems like years.
But the Sixers organization may not be the ones holding all of the cards here. According to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski speaking on his podcast, teams who have been kicking the tires on Noel aren't loving what they're hearing.
“The research teams have done on him is not good,” Wojnarowski said. “They don’t get good reports back on their intel, how he’s carried himself there, of his habits. It’s not a great return. There are teams willing to do a deal for him and bring him in but they don’t want to give up much. And so at some point there, Philly has got to make a decision, ‘What’s the best we can get for him?’ I think at some point he probably moves, too.”
It's one thing for teams to be hesitant to make a deal for Noel because they haven't seen him do anything on the court this season. That's entirely understandable. It's another to hear teams aren't getting good reports of how Nerlens carries himself, potentially decreasing whatever offer said team would make if they were to deal for him.
This wouldn't be the first time we've heard of Noel being something short of a model player off the court. There was that whole thing story about his apartment and Coach Brown having to try and talk to Nerlens about "embracing the team aspect of everything."
You may recall prior to the season that the team positioned Nerlens' surgery as "elective," hinting that team's views may not have been in step with the player.
What the Colangelo regime thinks of Noel and Jah remains to be seen, but hearing reports from a reputable NBA insider like Woj that are less than sparkling is certainly not what Sixers fans want to hear.