Philadelphia’s desire to deal Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor is complicated by their declining trade value, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Noel is in the final year of his rookie deal and will be a restricted free agent after the season is over. Any team that acquires him faces the risk that he will receive a large offer that it would have to match to keep him. Okafor’s value is driven down by a hurting right knee, defensive problems and the feeling that his old-school game is only effective in certain systems. The Bulls have reportedly contacted the Sixers about Okafor, but Pompey suspects the best Philadelphia could hope for is a young player and a mid- to late-first-round pick.
There’s more out of Philadelphia:
- Okafor has heard about the Bulls’ interest, and says trade talk is nothing new for him, Pompey relays in a separate story. “Trade rumors are something that’s going to be a part of my life probably for as long as I’m in the NBA,” Okafor said. “I’ve been hearing it since I’ve been in the NBA about being traded.”
- Many of the players who are helping the Sixers improve now understand that they won’t be around when the team expects to become a contender, notes Steve Aschburner of NBA.com. One example he cites is Gerald Henderson, a 29-year-old guard who has has been an important contributor, averaging 9.7 points per night and starting 29 games. “That’s what the NBA is,” Henderson said. “… You come in and do your job. Focus on that, and you go home. The future of this franchise will be what it’s going to be. They’ll make a decision to get whoever they want to be in this locker room. But for the group that we have, we play for each other. We try to do our jobs and win every night, and that’s it.”
- Brett Brown’s former boss, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, has noticed the challenges Brown has faced in managing a team through “The Process” that involved three straight years of losing and rebuilding, writes Brian Seltzer of Sixers.com. “There’s nobody that could do the job that he’s doing, considering the situation as it has been,” Popovich said. “His demeanor and ability to stay positive and just teach, and get satisfaction out of watching young players absorb things is beyond my comprehension. He’s a consummate teacher, and upbeat individual.”