Just as NBA rumor season appeared to be coming to a close, Adrian Wojnarowski buried a nugget of useful information in a recent news story.
The hoops reporter writes that, according to a league source, the Philadelphia 76ers plan to trade away a member of their talented but crowded frontcourt – either former Kentucky rim protector Nerlens Noel or former Duke post threat Jahlil Okafor. And the Celtics, in need of a little more talent in their big man corps, have been tied to both.
Noel was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, but was projected to go as high as first overall before suffering an injury that caused his stock to tumble just a bit. Noel grew up just outside of Boston in Everett, Massachusetts.
Okafor, also projected to go as the No. 1 overall pick, eventually lost out to two more balanced players in reigning rookie of the year Karl-Anthony Towns, and D’Angelo Russell.
In Boston, either player could potentially be a fit. The Celtics have not had an athletic rim protector since the days of Kevin Garnett. Alongside Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, and Al Horford, Noel would give Boston arguably the best 5-man defensive lineup in the league.