The Sixers’ need at point guard and the Celtics’ desire for help in the front court make them natural trading partners, says Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. In a TV interview, she addressed rumors of a possible swap between the teams that would include Boston’s No. 3 pick and one of Philadelphia’s young big men, Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel. Camerato thinks the Celtics would have to throw in a player — someone like Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley — and it would be a fair exchange because Boston would be getting a recent draftee who already has NBA experience. The Sixers would probably target Kris Dunn of Providence or Jamal Murray of Kentucky with that third pick.
There’s more out of Philadelphia:
- If the Celtics have a choice in the deal, they should take Noel, opines Josue Pavon of WEEI. Pavon believes the 22-year-old Noel would be the rim protector that Boston needs and would be a better alternative than chasing Hassan Whiteside or Bismack Biyombo in free agency. Pavon speculates that the Sixers would ask less for Noel than for Okafor, and that the Celtics might be able to obtain him for the No. 3 pick, multiple second-round choices and a prospect such as Terry Rozier or James Young.
- The Celtics shouldn’t give up too much for either Noel or Okafor, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE. Blakely notes that Boston has been slowly working its way into contender status, and he doesn’t believe either player significantly accelerates that process.
- Ben Simmons hasn’t made a public comment since the Sixers won the draft lottery last week, writes John Smallwood of The Philadelphia Daily News. Smallwood says he can’t find a statement from Simmons on anything since he signed with the Klutch firm in March. In contrast, Duke’s Brandon Ingram, considered the other top candidate for Philly’s No. 1 choice, interviewed with the Sixers at the draft combine earlier this month. Smallwood says Simmons’ actions add to the perception that he wants Philadelphia to bypass him so he can go to the Lakers with the second pick. Still, the Sixers have a “strong preference” for Simmons, tweets Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com, and he should be considered a heavy favorite to go at No. 1.