When word broke that the 76ers would likely end up receiving a pair of second-round picks from the Mavericks in the Nerlens Noel trade, rather than a first-rounder, critics were quick to rule the deal a misstep for GM Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers. However, in the view of Mavs GM Donnie Nelson, the draft compensation isn’t even the most important part of the package heading to Philadelphia — Nelson thinks Justin Anderson is that centerpiece.
“Look, they had an extremely difficult situation,” Nelson said of the Sixers, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “They were overstocked at the center position. You’re looking at basically the possibility of a couple-month rental, and so I think they did the best that they could with the situation they had. It was really a need position for us, and it was taking the best possible deal they could get. They like Justin Anderson a lot. He is the critical piece, and it was hard for us to give them that piece.”
David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News agrees with Nelson’s sentiment, writing – even before the Mavs GM spoke to reporters – that the success of the deal from the Sixers’ perspective figures to hinge on the development of Anderson.
- The trade market for Jahlil Okafor leading up to the deadline was “much more broad” than the market for Noel, but the right deal didn’t present itself, per Colangelo (Twitter links via Jake Fischer of SI.com). The Sixers GM hinted that the team will probably revisit trade talks involving Okafor at a later date.
- Andrew Bogut won’t be with the Sixers for at least a week while dealing with personal issues, but that doesn’t preclude the two sides from negotiating a buyout during that time, says Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links). A buyout is considered likely, so Bogut may never end up reporting to Philadelphia.
- Colangelo said today that Tiago Splitter is hoping to get back onto the court this season and the Sixers will help him rehab, but the big man – acquired from the Hawks this week – isn’t part of the club’s long term plans (Twitter links via Fischer and Pompey). Splitter will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- Colangelo said today that Ersan Ilyasova will be seeking a long-term deal in free agency this summer, but wasn’t part of the Sixers’ long-term plans, which was why the club felt compelled to move him this week (Twitter link via Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com).
- Joel Embiid wasn’t thrilled with the cagey way in which the Sixers handled updates on his knee injury, as Tom Moore of The Burlington County Times writes. “I was told I was going to kind of miss two or three weeks, so I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled,” said Embiid, who was announced as day-to-day when he first went down. “I thought keeping my name out there was going to literally have people think about me all the time instead of just saying when I was going to be back.”