Joel Embiid says goodbye to his best friend, Nerlens Noel

It's top-18 protected, meaning the Sixers would get it only if the Mavericks pick 19 to 30. Philadelphia 76er's center Nerlens Noel's upcoming contract situation will represent what has always made me skeptical of the idea of exclusively building through the draft.

With the National Basketball Association trade deadline looming on Thursday (Friday AEDT), Bogut and teammate Deron Williams were excused from training with the struggling Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

For taking Bogut from the Mavericks, the 76ers receive a protected first-round pick in 2017. If the Sixers are nearly twice as good without him, and they could have gotten 50 cents on the dollar back for him - draft picks, veteran shooters with hefty contracts, other disgruntled big men they can swap in the future - then wouldn't that add up to almost full value? The 76ers have shifted towards preferring to pair Nerlens Noel with Joel Embiid long-term.

Chris Mannix reports the 76ers still value Okafor as a third overall pick, though rival teams don't view him that way.

Meanwhile, Noel can go a long way to furthering the Mavs' improved defense. It's more about his ability to defend.

Anderson was a first-round pick by Dallas in 2015 but never could work his way into the rotation consistently.

Noel is set to enter the restricted free agent market this summer, and with teams still free with cap space, he was likely to be thrown money the Sixers wouldn't match. He's played in just 38 of the Sixers' 52 contests this season, mostly due to being benched while the team tried to figure out how to handle the aforementioned logjam at center. "They play a tough system, get up and down the court". The two second-round picks that should be coming to the 76ers won't make much difference, and even though there are things to like about Anderson's game, such as his athleticism and stellar rebounding (7.6 boards per 36 minutes), he doesn't have the same ceiling as a high lottery talent with more rare physical gifts like Noel.

It's safe to say the Mavs won this trade handedly. Golden State had to dump his salary in a trade with Dallas to be able to afford small forward Kevin Durant in free agency last season. There's little justification for that, and the only logical conclusion for continuing to keep Embiid and Noel separated was they already had plans to move on from the former Kentucky standout. There are plenty of reasons for them to do so.

  • Julie Sanders