The Philadelphia 76ers have the first overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but no obvious way to address the most glaring weakness on the team at point guard. Sure, their presumptive choice Ben Simmons could be the franchise-altering talent they’ve been tanking for all these years, but he fills the same floor space as all of the Sixers’ other youngsters with potential. That’s why, to no one’s surprise, they’re shopping some of those youngsters for a better shot at a well-rounded roster.
The Atlanta Hawks have had Jeff Teague on the trade market for months, and at 27 he’s just young enough for the Sixers to consider him a piece for the future. Yahoo Sports is reporting that the two teams have had discussions about swapping Teague for Nerlens Noel, but that nothing is imminent. The deal would make a lot of sense for both parties, as the Hawks could use an injection of youth in the middle behind Al Horford (who might be leaving in free agency anyway) and Paul Millsap.
Noel isn’t as offensively skilled as coach Mike Budenholzer prefers in his scheme, but he’s undeniably defensively talented, and most coaches would say that trumps schematic fit. Then again, the Sixers may be reticent as well — they may start getting better as early as next year, but they’re still likely years away from true contention. Teague is an unrestricted free agent after next season, and if he doesn’t buy The Process (or what’s left of it after the Colangelo duo dragged Sam Hinkie’s bloody corpse through it), he could be gone and all the Sixers would have gotten is more playing time for their big men (which is actually a good thing, but still). Maybe they’d prefer to get picks for Noel, or Jahlil Okafor if that’s who teams want more.
Either way, next year’s Sixers would be much more fun with Jeff Teague. Maybe the trade’s worth it just for that.
(Via Yahoo Sports)