“Nerlens Noel,” Colangelo did sing
Was too rail-thin, poor Sixers
Let’s deal as they play
Let’s deal, as they play earning their keep
On a cold winter’s night their hole was so deep
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Tough is the sting of another “L”
Can’t tell you how tough it is to be a Sixers fan this time of year. Getting team gear for this 1-28 squad as a gift would be like getting a lump of coal in your stocking.
Indeed, it is such a cruel joke that Sam Hinkie’s original sin, committed way back in 2013, was stabbing hardcore fans and Pelicans GM Dell Demps in the back by trading a Holiday for a Noel, as in a secretly injured Jrue Holiday for a publicly injured Nerlens Noel. Sure, Hinkie made out like a bandit in the deal, also landing a pick that eventually turned into Dario Saric, but it was also the first deal where he showed he was a two-faced turd who could not be trusted by not disclosing Holiday’s injury. How are you going to start trading your assets and luring free agents when no one wants to play ball with you?
But enough about Stinkie, I mean Tankie, I mean Hinkie. This is about Noel, and about the possibility that he might be dealt during this season’s NBA’s trade window.
Why Noel will get dealt: He’s the only real human trade chip the team has other than Okafor (they have 442 first-round picks piled up. I double-checked the number, J.B., don’t bother editing). And when you’re 1-28, and Jerry Colangelo has just been hired to babysit Hinkie, there’s probably going to be some kind of deal going down. But a better reason is that Noel and Jahlil Okafor are just not fitting together on the floor. His best game of the year – 15 points, 12 rebounds and a block on 50 percent shooting from the floor in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Cavs – was supposed to be the norm for the second-year player. Noel’s rebounding (7.9 rpg, compared to 8.1 last year) and blocked-shot totals (1 bpg, slipping from 1.8) are down. That could have something to do with having no real point guard to get him the ball and zero shooters to space the floor for him and Jah. That could have something to do with the fact that he plays with mostly D-Leaguers in a “scheme” (we’ll call it that loosely) that calls for constant fast breaks and firing of three-pointers by anyone and everyone, regardless of whether they can shoot or not. Finally, Joel Embiid will be coming back next year, and as such at least one of these three will most likely be gone.
Why Noel won’t get dealt: The Sixers still think they can pair him with Okafor, a la Tim Duncan and David Robinson, and the Sixers might be pessimistic about Embiid’s chances of making it back.
Why this matters to your fantasy team: Noel will have much more value if he’s dealt – depending on his landing spot – than if he stays put in Philadelphia. Boston would be a nice fit – it’s near his hometown, and Brad Stevens would love to have Noel anchoring his defense.
Now, little boys and girls, let’s see what other Boards-N-Blocks goodies Santa put in your fantasy stockings.
Marcin Gortat – Were they filming one of those body swap movies Monday night at Verizon Center? Was Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage in the hizzous? Gortat put up a classic DeMarcus Cousins line – 27-16-4 – and Boogie was more like Gortat with his 22 points and eight rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Kelly Olynyk always looks strangely old, but he looked like the Crypt Keeper trying to keep up with Towns in this one. KAT torched the C’s with 25 points, 16 boards and three blocks in a losing cause. Towns has been fantastic over his last five, averaging 21.4 ppg, 10 rpg, 1.6 bpg while shooting nearly 58 percent from the line. Oh, and he hasn’t missed a free throw in seven games.
R.J. Hunter – Not for nothin’, but this late first-round pick got loose in garbagio time in the same game, rejecting three shots in 19 minutes.
Bismack Biyombo – Last week we gave a shout-out to our main man Bismack, and he responded with a bonkers week of boarding and blocking. He’s averaged 14.8 rpg and 2.8 bpg over his last four, including a crazy seven snuffs and 18 boards in a loss last Thursday in Charlotte. Only owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues. Go now and help change that.
Zaza Pachulia – Apparently a big Reggie Evans fan, as all he does is board, and that’s it. Over his last five, Zaza is averaging 14.6 rebounds per contest, and 0.0 blocks per game.
Marvin Williams – Been noticing from the comments that we’ve got some Starvin’ Marvin fans out there, so this one goes out to them. I maybe unfairly called him trash. He’s been a cheap source of boards (8.3 rpg over his last three) and an OK blocker too (at least one in each of his last seven games). He’s just not real consistent.
Clint Capela – With a possible Dwight Howard trade going down, he makes for a great spec buy. But he’s a sweet pick-up regardless, as he’s producing even though Dwight and his whiny arse are still moping around Houston, complaining about not being the man. Over his last five, Capela is averaging 9.8 rpg and 1.6 blocks per game in just a tick above 20 minutes. Those numbers aren’t far off what Howard is getting in more minutes. And remember: Even if Dwight doesn’t get dealt, he has missed gobs of time before while caught up in weird situations where things went sour.
Steven Adams vs. Enes Kanter – Adams starts over Kanter, and gets more minutes. But his numbers are not as good, even in less time, especially over the last five, during which Kanter is averaging 12 ppg and 11 rpg. Oh, that’s why Kanter is 70 percent owned and Adams is only 8 percent owned.