As the NBA Draft is approaching fast, it looks like Nerlens Noel will be traded by the 76ers at some point Thursday.
According to multiple media reports, Noel is likely on the move sometime today, possibly before the draft kicks off. It looks like the deal may be between the Celtics and Sixers involving Noel and the No. 3 pick, while Kentucky Wildcats guard Jamal Murray may be in the running for that the pick.
League sources tell @chadfordinsider and me: Philadelphia is ramping up its efforts to acquire tonight's No. 3 overall pick from Boston.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2016
Numerous rivals describe Philly as the most active team in circulation ... with a trade involving Nerlens Noel looking more and more likely— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2016
Hearing Nerlens Noel will be on the move today...— Dave Miller (@coachdavemiller) June 23, 2016
If Philly is successful prying the No. 3 pick from Boston, it'll enable the Sixers to choose between Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn or Jamal Murray— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 23, 2016
While these reports leave open a lot of room for a different trade partner, it now looks likelier than ever that Noel will not be a Sixer going forward. He's developed into an elite defender with a lot of room to grow offensively, but he is set to be a restricted free agent in 2017-18.
This past season, Noel appeared in 67 games while averaging 11.1 ppg on 52.1% shooting with 8.1 boards, 1.5 blocks and 1.8 steals per game while splitting time with Jahlil Okafor at center. That's not even accounting for what Joel Embiid can give the 76ers if he can stay healthy, which could lead to Noel's minutes dramatically decreasing if he doesn't find a new team.
It looks like Boston may be his new home, but even if it's not, a new home does appear very likely.