Published: Sat, February 25, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Sixers, Jahlil Okafor look to find way to navigate a odd situation


And, as stated above, the value for Noel was already low (as it is for Okafor, for different reasons) and it was clear to everyone outside of Philadelphia that the Sixers had to do something. More than that, they had a positive mentality that actually started translating to winning games, something that hasn't happened enough when Okafor is on the floor.

That's not to say Okafor, who averages 15 points and six rebounds per game, can't be a good National Basketball Association player. When healthy, Noel has shown he can be a solid player on both ends of the floor and could likely even develop his game even more in an expanded role. Fans that were looking for a flashy trade certainly didn't get that in the trade that sent out Nerlens Noel and brought in Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a heavily protected first round pick that will nearly certainly convey into two second-round picks instead.

Noel is expected to inject youth to the Mavs' aging front court and his defensive prowess to the 22-34 Dallas. Since then, Dallas has had a revolving door of centers that have all been subpar at best.

In Dallas, Noel will fit much like Tyson Chandler did in the past. That was an easier task when the team had a younger Nowitzki, who would make anyone the team signed better and smooth over a roster's flaws, but the climb back is doable.

Noel is joining a young core the Mavericks have built out of nothing the past two years.

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However, as Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, that "somewhere else" could be determined after Bogut is bought out and becomes a free agent. Dallas clearly won this trade, according to Andrew Lynch of Fox Sports.

"And you're not talking about simple things". It goes without saying that two second-round picks don't turn the tide.

The 22-year-old Noel has scored in double figures in each of his last four games. We often think of defending the pick-and-roll as more of a big man's job, but the smaller defender can certainly make life hard on opposing players, as well. He was a first-round pick (No. 6 overall) by the Pelicans in 2013. In my opinion, we've got one of the best in the business with Rick.

Sam Hinkie practically left the team with a can't lose situation once Joel Embiid hit the floor, played like an All-Star and future superstar and had the team literally gunning for a playoff spot. While he offers little in the way of scoring (3.0 points per game), his presence at center would be a help to a contending team. So, the Dallas Mavericks received a potential cornerstone center, and only had to give up Justin Anderson and two 2nd round picks. He has been in foreign territory the last couple years, first as part of a losing combination that forced him (and Noel) to accommodate an ill-fitting partner in the frontcourt, later as a spectator as the team came into their own without him in the lineup.

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