On a brand new vertical titled “The Crossover” from Sports Illustrated, an anonymous scout predicted that the Philadelphia 76ers would trade Nerlens Noel.
The Philadelphia 76ers upcoming season is an important one, one that will likely dictate the future of the team. How the roster is structured throughout this season, the trades that are made, and the tone that is set will carry through the next few years and impact the approach of the team for years to come, hopefully as they start on the path to competitiveness.
With the season just about a week away for the Sixers, the speculation and predictions are heating up. Just in time for that, Sports Illustrated debuted a new NBA vertical titled “The Crossover.”
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In one of The Crossover’s first articles, anonymous NBA scouts gave their takes on what to expect from each of the 30 teams in the NBA. In the Eastern Conference edition, some predictions were revealed about the Sixers that were pretty hot.
The anonymous scout first talked about how he believes Nerlens Noel will start at center, and Jahlil Okafor at power forward, but how that combo just can’t work. Yes, we saw this last year, but some fans are still hopeful that there’s something there. The Sixers are as well.
Additionally, the scout said that Joel Embiid is still an unknown, and pointed out that with his injury past, it’s not too far out that he could have another injury at some point this season. That’s certainly not something the Sixers fans want to hear, but it’s something we should keep in mind, and it is a logical statement.
Perhaps the hottest prediction, however, was that the scout is convinced that within the first third of the season, a big man — he names Nerlens Noel — is going to be traded.
I have to believe that in the first third of the season, they trade one of their three bigs. It will probably be Noel. He can defend but he’s really light in the ass—very thin. Maybe it’s to Boston for a wing player.
It’s also interesting that he predicts that the Sixers will likely trade, “one of their three bigs.” He’s not ruling out Joel Embiid. Obviously, it depends on how he does in the regular season, but Embiid could even be an option to some teams.
The scout also indicates that when Ben Simmons returns from his injury, he will start in the four spot, but will also play some in the three as well. Something the scout points out is that there’s a slight logjam in the power forward spot as well with Ben Simmons and Dario Saric both demanding minutes there.
The scout is quite negative about the future of the Sixers, but perhaps he’s being more of a realist than the rest of us are regarding the team. It’s becoming increasingly clear that until the Sixers do something to beef up their backcourt and settle their logjam, they won’t be known as a very good team in the NBA. The Sixers may be progressing, but they have a long way to go.