Remember how all we heard about in June was how Nerlens Noel would likely be traded, possibly even to his hometown Boston Celtics?
The rumors found new life this week when Noel tweeted for the first time in a month, and it was pretty a pretty telling tweet:
I'm blessed to be from Boston. Love my city.— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) August 11, 2016
While this could very well be nothing, in today's world of hot takes, wild rumors and frequent trade gossip, it was only a matter of time before a supposedly legitimate trade rumor came out following Noel's expression of his love for his hometown.
Noel has not asked for a trade, but multiple league sources told CSNNE.com that he is "very open" to being traded if the Sixers decide to make that decision.
Another league source contacted by CSNNE.com on Thursday morning indicated that the Celtics still have a high level of interest in Noel but no deal is imminent.
They also noticed an odd thing about Noel's profile that you frankly don't see anyone do regarding their 'current' job.
On his Twitter page, Noel’s bio reads, "#BostonStrong – Former Kentucky Wildcat – Current Philadelphia 76er!!" The Everett, Mass., native has a similar message on the bio page of his Facebook account as well.
Who refers to the team they play for as "current?"
A player who wisely suspects that "current" label will become "former" sooner rather than later.
As a Celtics fan, I'm really conflicted about the thought of Noel in Boston for the long term. I'll enjoy seeing him sign a massive contract when he becomes a free agent in 2017, but I'm not sure Noel is someone you can win a title with if he's your highest or even second-highest paid player.
Even with Boston having just signed Al Horford to a massive deal, Noel could get a bigger deal next year with the salary cap taking another jump, so it's very possible he's the highest-paid player for whoever his next team in.
I love Noel, but I don't want to pay him like he's DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond or DeAndre Jordan.
Then again, I'm all for Boston paying whatever it takes to get Kelly Olynyk out of the lineup. I'd take Jahlil Okafor at this point to accomplish that.
So yeah, go for it Boston. Get Noel to a winning and stable franchise. We've not seen enough of that with other former Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA, who like Noel, end up getting drafted high to perennial bottom-feeders, or worse, the Kings.