8:48pm: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Sixers. The announcement suggests that if the 2017 first-round pick from the Mavs isn’t conveyed, Philadelphia will receive Dallas’ second-round picks for 2017 and 2020.
11:58am: According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links), if the Sixers don’t receive the Mavs’ first-round pick this year, they’ll instead receive 2017 and 2018 second-round picks from Dallas. Since that first-rounder is top-18 protected, it seems very unlikely to change hands, so the conditions on the pick make the deal look even better for the Mavs.
11:30am: There are still some moving parts to sort out in the deal before it becomes official, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com, who tweets that the trade may expand to involve a third team so that the Sixers don’t have to waive a player.
10:46am: The Sixers are in agreement with the Mavericks on a deal that will send Nerlens Noel to Dallas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia will receive Justin Anderson and a first-round pick from the Mavs. ESPN’s Marc Stein adds (via Twitter) that the Sixers will also get Andrew Bogut‘s expiring contract.
According to Stein (via Twitter), the first-round pick heading to the Sixers in the deal will be top-18 protected in 2017, which makes it unlikely that it will change hands this year. As our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show, Dallas currently projects to have the No. 7 overall pick, though Noel should help improve this year’s team. Future protections on the first-rounder have not yet been reported.
Noel, who will turn 23 in April, was frequently mentioned as a trade candidate earlier this season, particularly after he publicly questioned the Sixers’ decision to head into camp with a logjam at center. However, the former sixth overall pick had played well as of late, averaging 8.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and a career-best .611 FG% in less than 20 minutes per game for the season.
Recent trade rumors had focused more on Jahlil Okafor than Noel, so it will be interesting to see if the Sixers end up moving Okafor today as well. In his full report on the trade, Wojnarowski suggests Okafor is now likely to stay put. However, as Jake Fischer of SI.com notes (via Twitter), the Sixers have been “steadfast” this week in their efforts to move Okafor, so it would be a change of direction to hang onto him now.
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For the Mavs, Noel represents a substantial upgrade at center, giving the team the sort of athletic, rim-protecting big man it had been seeking. As Wojnarowski tweets, Dallas has “long been intrigued” by Noel, and will look to lock him up this summer. The Kentucky product will be a restricted free agent, so the Mavs will have the opportunity to match any offers he receives from other teams.
From the Sixers’ perspective, the move represents a chance to pick up a young player and a draft pick while also potentially not having to worry about reaching the salary floor. Anderson has yet to make a real impact in his two NBA seasons, but he’s still just 23 years old and won’t be a restricted free agent until the summer of 2019. Meanwhile, the combined salaries for Bogut ($11MM+) and Anderson ($1.51MM) are worth approximately $8MM more than Noel’s salary, allowing Philadelphia to surpass the salary floor.
However, if the Sixers were to flip Bogut in another deadline deal, that could change the equation, and the team has yet to decide what they’ll do with the veteran center, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports (via Twitter) that Bogut and the Sixers are expected to engage in buyout talks, with potential suitors like the Cavs keeping a close eye on the situation. However, TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter links) suggests Philadelphia could reroute the former No. 1 pick to another team, with the Celtics as one possibility.
A couple final bookkeeping notes on the swap: Assuming it’s completed as reported, Dallas should have the opportunity to create a pair of trade exceptions in the deal. One would be worth about $6.64MM (the difference between Bogut’s and Noel’s salaries), while the other would be worth approximately $1.51MM (Anderson’s salary). The Mavs should also now comfortably avoid the luxury tax this season, having previously been about $1MM away from the tax threshold.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.