Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor have been perhaps the most-discussed trade candidates of the offseason, and it’s no secret that the Sixers have explored the idea of moving one of the two players. However, according to general manager Bryan Colangelo, the team’s desire to get something done has been overstated. During an appearance on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, Colangelo suggested that having three quality big men is a “high-class problem” (transcript via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer).
“The notion that we were out shopping any of them and aggressively pushing to make a deal is not the case,” Colangelo said. “We certainly listened because a lot of people thought we were in a corner. We never felt like we were in that corner. We feel like we’ve got three talented players that we are going to obviously let work itself out.”
As Colangelo observes, Noel, Okafor, and Joel Embiid are all on different contract timelines — Noel’s rookie deal will expire in 2017, with Embiid’s up in 2018 and Okafor’s up in 2019. Philadelphia obviously won’t want to lose Noel for nothing next summer, but he’d still have decent trade value on a new, more lucrative contract, and it’s not as if the Sixers – who have the most cap space in the NBA – wouldn’t have the room necessary to extend him.
Still, even though Colangelo didn’t sound like he’s feeling any pressure to make a move, the Sixers likely want to get some resolution sooner rather than later, particularly if Embiid is healthy and productive this season. Philadelphia isn’t likely to move one of its bigs just to help clear up a crowded frontcourt, but if the team can get solid value in return, there’s still a good chance of a trade by the 2017 deadline.