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NBA, Celtics trade rumors: Jahlil Okafor now the center of choice

Jahlil Okafor, right, would be a better fit with the Celtics now that Al Horford, Getty Images

It's not NBA fact until The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski weighs in, so consider it official: Philly's NerlensNoel and Jahlil Okaforare legitimately on the block.

Buried in an Elton Brand - Sixerspiece this week, Wojnarowski shared this information:

"The Sixers have had periodic trade talks this summer involving Noel and Okafor and plan to eventually move one of them, league sources said. Philadelphia doesn't believe the two players' talents are complementary."

While the first part of that is not exactly a tale told out of school, it's the specificity of this that makes you wonder if a swap is coming sooner rather than later. The Sixers"don't believe the two players' talents are complementary." OK, so why go into a regular season when you know this thing is going to be a completetrain wreck from the get-go?

It's easy to say, 'Oh, the Sixers don't care about winning this season anyway because they're not going to win the championship.'" But no, no no. That's the way Sam Hinkie thinkie.

Remember that there'snew leadership in Philly that does not think that way.The Sixers have tanked harder than any team in league history the past few seasons and this year finally seems like the season in which Philly might actually, ya know, try. The Sixers are a point guard away from fielding a very strong starting five, and - as has been discussedcountless times before - the Celtics are guard-heavy. Boston also has a boatload of draftpicks to package, but now that Hinkieis out, those picks probably don't mean all that much to the Sixers. If a Celtics - Sixersswap for either Noel or Okaforfinally does go down (why couldn't it have just happened at the draft for Kris Dunnto make everyone's life easier?), it's now a strong possibility that it could be a three-way deal with the Celtics shipping a high pick to a team that wants to go south immediately. The Sixers would obviously want a talented youngguard (like Marcus Smart) and another quality player from Team X.

As for whether the Celtics would want Noel or Okafor, that remains the million dollar question. Wojnarowski spoke of how Noel and Okafor's talents were not complementary. Well, who would complement Al Horford better for the Celtics? You'vegotta think that would be Okafor, who is the traditional center to Horford's new school style.

 
 
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