After trading Ersan Ilyasova last night, the Sixers made another trade this afternoon. Not Jahlil Okafor, but upcoming restricted free agent Nerlens Noel.
Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for second-year guard Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut, and a top-18 protected 2017 first round pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
UPDATE: If the Sixers do not receive 2017 first from Mavs, it converts into two second round picks (Mavericks 2nd round picks in 2017 & 2018)
The Sixers are working to find a Bogut trade partner before the end of the trade deadline, otherwise they will likely engage in a buyout.
While many will be disappointed that Jahlil Okafor won’t be the center out the door, it was inevitable that Nerlens wouldn’t be sticking around. Instead of testing out the waters in the free agent market, Bryan Colangelo decided to get something for Noel now, rather than have to pay more than he was willing to offer.
In our Nerlens Noel trade destinations article at the beginning of the season, Dallas was one of the potential suitors. Here was our take at the time:
“ A deal with Dallas would be contingent on the play and health of Andrew Bogut. Bogut is a free agent after this season and if he can’t hold up physically, Dallas would want add the rim protection that it has so heavily desired since Tyson Chandler left in free agency in 2011. Enter Nerlens Noel. If Bogut can’t stay healthy, a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Wes Matthews, Harrison Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki, and Noel would be very solid. So this would be my proposal:
- Mavericks receive: Nerlens Noel
- 76ers receive: Justin Anderson, Devin Harris, & top-10 protected 2018 1st round pick
Rationale: This deal would net second year wing Justin Anderson to and a protected 2018 1st round pick (Dallas owed Boston in 2016) for Noel. To make the trade work, Dallas would also have to send Devin Harris as salary filler in the deal. He makes $4.2 million this season but a non-guaranteed salary for next season, but is a quality veteran the Sixers can keep around for another year if they so choose.
Overall: Anderson can be a solid wing option for the Sixers in the future (two more years of rookie salary) and the Sixers pick up another future first rounder.”
This ended up being a similar deal, where the Sixers pick up Anderson and a pick, but they instead receive Andrew Bogut instead of Devin Harris and two seconds instead of a first.
For all the Process Trusters out there, this deal is a bitter pill to swallow. Nerlens was the very first draft pick of the “Process Sixers” in 2013, with the superstar talent of Joel Embiid, paying Noel this offseason would have been a difficult proposition.
It’s sad to see Nerlens go, but with Colangelo dumping his two main free agents (Ilyasova and Noel), it seems that is willing to spend top dollar this offseason for outside free agents.
Photo via Patriarca12 (Wikimedia Commons)