The Philadelphia 76ers seem to be headed in a new direction now that Bryan Colangelo has taken over as the general manager. They landed the top overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and seem poised to take LSU’s Ben Simmons, but that may not be the only big move they make this off-season.
The Sixers have a glut of big men and a major hole at point guard leading many to report that they are dangling both Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor in trade discussions. With his athleticism and defensive potential, Noel would likely bring back a little more in a deal.
The latest rumor is an interesting one as Shams Charania of The Vertical reports that the Sixers are discussing a deal to send Noel to the Atlanta Hawks for point guard Jeff Teague:
Atlanta and Philadelphia are discussing a deal centered on a Jeff Teague and Nerlens Noel package, league sources tell The Vertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 2, 2016
The deal makes sense for both sides as the Sixers add a much-needed point guard and clear out some playing time for their bigs. Likewise, this would allow the Hawks to turn things over to Dennis Schroeder. However, trading for Noel would call into question the status of unrestricted free agent Al Horford.
Horford will undoubtedly be one of the league’s most sought after free agents and could secure himself a max contract. If the Hawks don’t want to pay that much to keep Horford, adding Noel would give them a much cheaper replacement.
This, of course, is all speculation, but the Los Angeles Lakers will surely be reaching out to Horford as they have a massive need at the center position. The Hawks could very well intend to keep Horford this summer, but if this trade with the Sixers ultimately goes through, perhaps Horford is more attainable.