Nerlens Noel might be plying his trade with the Philadelphia 76ers at the moment, but this does not mean that he is not going to be traded off and head for greener pastures elsewhere. After all, athletes have a few short years for them to earn a living before they retire in their 30s, so why not make as much proverbial hay as possible while the sun shines? Word on the street is the Toronto Raptors have expressed a very keen interest in Nerlens Noel, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.
Different reports on the ground do point to how center Nerlens Noel might be headed in the direction of the Toronto Raptors before the current season comes to a close. In fact, there has been a higher level of interest surrounding Noel after he did not agree to a contract extension with his current employers, missing the deadline that the NBA had set for fourth-year players. This would mean Nerlens Noel will eventually end up as a restricted free agent next year, it is far more likely that the Philadelphia 76ers would like to cash in on their first-round draft pick who has had a fair number of injuries so far. Does this mean that the Philadelphia 76ers are also looking to move on and part amicably?
Writer Gary Washburn dropped a hint on the unfolding situation, “[I]t was notable that the 76ers didn’t come close to striking a deal with center Nerlens Noel, who could have earned a deal in the $70 million range because of his potential, especially defensively. But it seems the 76ers have decided to move Noel, who will now be a restricted free agent this summer.”
Before Nerlens Noel heads anywhere though, his employers, the Philadelphia 76ers will first have to hunt down a trade partner for their player, and time on the clock is ticking down fast. The Toronto Raptors have managed to sniff out a potential move for a center player that they might require. If this piece of business is conducted well and concludes on a nice handshake with all terms and conditions being agreeable to everyone, then the Toronto Raptors would have managed to add more talent to their squad without having to break the bank. Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri has had some trade “hits” in the past, and hopefully his Midash Touch will continue.
Nerlens Noel has talent, make no mistake about it, but he has also acquired a reputation of being “damaged goods” due to the injuries suffered in the past. After all, if the Toronto Raptors acquire his services, he is unable to take to the court right away since he is still on the road to recovery from a knee surgery that was conducted in October last month, and should only be able to train only from a few more week down the road.
He would definitely make for a decent stop-gap replacement for the injured but reliable Jared Sullinger. Other than the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics have also expressed their interest in Nerlens Noel. We shall sit tight and see how all of this will pan out in due time.