The Sixers are off to an 0-15 start, and while the sun may always shine in Philadelphia, this is a franchise clearly in the shade the last few seasons. In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com’s Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton looked at the frontcourt pairing of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel and concluded that the two play better when not sharing the court. This is certainly a problem for the team and coach Brett Brown, seeing as the two big men are easily the team’s best players, and it is looking more and more like GM Sam Hinkie will need to make a trade in order to change the team’s dynamic and balance out its roster.
This leads me to the topic for today: Should the Sixers trade Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel? If so, then which player should GM Sam Hinkie look to part with?
Okafor is clearly the better offensive player of the two, and he appears to have the higher overall upside as well. Plus, he’s in just the first year of his rookie scale deal, which means a team acquiring him would control his rights longer than Noel’s, who is eligible for restricted free agency in 2017/18. Dealing away Okafor so soon after using the No. 3 overall pick on him would almost certainly upset the team’s fanbase further, as well as cast more doubt on the viability of Hinkie’s build-through-losing strategy. The only tangible benefit to making such a move is that Okafor would likely bring back a higher return if shipped out of town.
What are your thoughts? Should the team trade either Okafor or Noel, or is the sample size too small to judge adequately if the two young big men can coexist alongside one another for the long term? If you believe a move needs to be made, which big man should Hinkie focus on trading and why? Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.