The Raptors’ reported interest in Nerlens Noel could revive a deal that was discussed over the summer, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia and Toronto were discussing an offseason trade revolving around Noel and Raptors swingman Terrence Ross. Noel is considered expendable because the Sixers have a wealth of quality young big men, and the team didn’t try very hard to reach a rookie contract extension with him before Monday’s deadline. Toronto may be in the market for help at power forward after offseason acquisition Jared Sullinger suffered a foot injury that will keep him out until January. Noel has already started rehabilitation after undergoing surgery October 26th for inflamed tissue above his left knee. He is expected to be out for three to five weeks.
There’s more news from Philadelphia:
- Even though he’s 6’10”, rookie Ben Simmons will eventually become the Sixers’ point guard, according to Nick Metallinos of ESPN.com. Simmons is sidelined with a Jones fracture in his right foot, but coach Brett Brown plans to help him transform to the new position when he is cleared to return. “That type of breakaway speed at 6’10, 245 pounds. He is an elite athlete,” Brown said. “Apart from the skill package that he most definitely has, I feel like that’s one of the foundations of a lot of the great players.”
- Cavaliers star LeBron James sees a bright future for Simmons, relays Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com. Simmons spent part of the summer working out with James, Dwyane Wade and Richard Jefferson and made a strong impression on the NBA veterans. “We all went through the workouts and he went better as the days went on,” James said. “That lets you know that he’s there to work and wants to get better and he wants to train with some of the guys he feels like he wants to work out to get better. It’s great to have him in the gym. It’s great to just be around him. He’s a great kid. Things will work out good for him.”
- The Sixers’ trade for Ersan Ilyasova is a step toward the positional balancing that Brown has been talking about since last season, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I just think that the skill package that [Ilyasova] has is similar in many ways to Dario [Saric] and the skill package that [Joel Embiid] has and Jahlil [Okafor] has are similar to each other,” Brown said. “I just think that it’s clear what their strengths are and the offense should reflect that. I think that those are also our best scorers. As you design your offense and you go to your strengths, I’m looking at those guys.”