Many expected the Sixers to trade a big man at the deadline and Jahlil Okafor was the top candidate to be moved. Nothing materialized with Okafor and opposing teams, but Philadelphia was able to move toward having a balanced roster by trading Nerlens Noel to the Mavericks.
The team will get Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut (who is a buyout candidate) and a 2017 protected first-round pick in exchange for the former No. 6 overall pick. The first-rounder is top-18 protected and if not conveyed this year, the Sixers will instead receive two second-round picks. As our Reverse Standings indicate, Dallas would have to put together an incredible stretch of wins in order for to end up as a team with a top-12 record, so it’s unlikely that the pick conveys this offseason.
The Sixers could have held onto Noel, but it would have meant paying him a lucrative contract in restricted free agency or losing him for nothing. Philadelphia has no cap issues now, but GM Bryan Colangelo doesn’t want to start accumulating expensive assets, especially when he understands how much the market for centers has tanked. Everyone knew the Sixers had to make a trade. It hurt their centers’ trade values and having Noel on a long-term, more expensive contract wouldn’t have helped to increase the demand.
Dallas gets a center who complements Dirk Nowitzki and will make a nice long-term on-court partner for Harrison Barnes. The Mavs will have to hand him a pricey contract in the offseason and I speculate that it will be a deal in the $16-$18 per year range. That’s overpaying for what Noel is right now, but it may be an appropriate value for what he can become during the length of a four-year deal. He has the quickness and the defensive prowess to become one of the top rim protectors in the league and the Mavs should be taking chances on players who are just entering their primes.
From the Sixer perspective, it’s easy to get frustrated. More future second-round picks? Another project player? Why did the team oust Sam Hinkie if it was going to continue to use his strategy? Valid concerns, but the team isn’t ready to compete and there wasn’t a reasonable Noel deal that was going to put them in that position, especially with the latest Ben Simmons news.
So our question to readers is how do you feel about the trade from either side? Do you believe Dallas got the better end of the deal or do you think both sides improved? Please take to the comments section to give us your input on this subject. We look forward to hearing your opinion.