You can't fault Sixers center Nerlens Noel for being candid.
"I think it's just silly … this situation that we are in now with three starting centers," Noel told the Philadelphia Inquirer a few weeks ago."With the departure of Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer."
"Don't get me wrong. We all get along great on the court and off the court," Noel continued. "But at the end of the day, it's like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn't make any sense."
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Joel Embiid, who has dazzled in preseason action while Noel and Jahlil Okafor have mostly (or completely for Okafor has he a knee injury) sit, appears to be the starting center of the future. And the Sixers seem content to use either Ben Simmons — when healthy — Dario Saric or Rashaun Holmes at power forward. Meaning the team really does have three top prospects at center.
Frustrated Noel has shown to have trade value, putting up10.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.8 assists and 1.7 blocks per game over parts of two seasons with the Sixers.
If he is the odd man out, there seem to be a handful of interesting trade possibilities. Rumors have the Lakers interested and offering Nick Young back to Philly for the young center. Veteran Suns guard Brandon Knight is a good fit and a name that's also been circulating.
Whatever the specifics are, the Sixershave limited minutes at the five-spot, and limited chances to showcase their trade pieces at center. If it's Noel, he could be shipped out prior to the February NBA trade deadline. And if it is Noel, he'd better stop worrying about who's the odd man out — the rumors show no sign of slowing down.