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NBA Trade Rumors: Sixers would rather trade Nerlens Noel than Jahlil Okafor

By Raymund Tamayo / 2016.11.28
Philadelphia 76ers players Nerlens Noel (L) and Jahlil Okafor

Recent rumors have emerged that the Philadelphia 76ers are preferring to trade Nerlens Noel over Jahlil Okafor as the NBA's trade period begins next month.

Noel and Okafor are two of the Sixers' three starting-caliber big men in their lineup right now together with Joel Embiid, who finally made his NBA debut this season after being sidelined with a foot injury since he was drafted third overall in 2014.

The league's restriction to trade newly-signed free agents will be lifted on Dec. 15, which means that a lot of players will become available in the market by then. With three young potential All-Star centers at their disposal, Philly is rumored to be planning to deal one of them in or before the February trade deadline.

According to ESPN, the Sixers Noel would rather trade Noel than Okafor with Embiid already secured of his starting center spot in head coach Brett Brown's squad because of his excellent performance so far this season.

Noel is currently out after undergoing surgery to repair his injured left knee and reports abound that he could be traded as soon as he returns from his setback.

The emergence of Embiid has made either Noel or Okafor dispensable as Brown can only clear enough playing time for two young centers to fully develop.

Noel and Okafor are polar opposites when it comes to their styles of play as the former is more defense-oriented while the latter has shown skills in the offensive end of the floor.

Noel told reporters during the Sixers' preseason media day that he is concerned about the team having too many starting centers and that he is open to get traded and move on from such a dilemma.

It looks like he will get his wish granted after speculations went out that it is only a matter of time before Philly sends him to a different team to balance their roster.

Fansided reported that the Toronto Raptors are interested in trading for Noel to plug the hole that Bismack Biyombo's departure during free-agency has created.

The Raptors have acquired Jared Sullinger from the Boston Celtics to temporarily fill the void, but Sullinger has been out since the start of the season with a foot injury and is expected to come back in 2 to 3 months.

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