Draft Scenario: Nerlens Noel and the third pick for the number one pick?


This past Thursday, Section 215’s Somers Price reacted to a report from 94 WIP’s Anthony Gargano that suggested that the Sixers would do ‘whatever it takes’ to land Kansas small-forward Andrew Wiggins in the NBA Draft. Price suggested that he didn’t think it would take that much to move up largely because the Cavaliers needed more certainty with their first pick, considering that they plan on contending much quicker than the Sixers.

Regardless of the fact that the Cavs plan on contending quicker than the Sixers, for them to move the pick, the Sixers are going to have to package something with the third pick to move up. That means you either move the number ten pick with the third pick, Michael Carter-Williams or Nerlens Noel. I think we would all be in agreement that Carter-Williams and the third pick would be too much to move for a chance to select Wiggins, even if you believe in his potential, because he isn’t a sure thing. The other two scenarios, well, those are up for debate.

A quick sidenote, I’m assuming that the Cavs wouldn’t be interested in any future first-round picks, because that pick won’t help them to lure LeBron James back and try to contend next year.

Before I continue, I’d like to thank Jared Mueller of Factory of Sadness (Fansided’s Cleveland affiliate) for giving me the idea to do this article. Since the draft lottery, Jared and I have communicated a lot about potential trade scenarios between the Sixers and Cavaliers.

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A couple weeks back, we debated a scenario where the Sixers would send Thad Young and the number three pick to the Cavaliers, for three first-round picks, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson. While I like some of the return that the Sixers would have gotten, I said thanks, but no thanks, because I think having a top-three pick in this draft should allow the Sixers to find their franchise player. That trade simply wouldn’t.

Today, I’m going to look at the idea of moving Nerlens Noel and the third pick to the Cavaliers for the number one pick.

This morning, Jared broke down the potential number three pick and Noel for the number one pick scenario. Jared came up with these takeaways from the potential trade, from the Sixers perspective.

"For the 76ers: The 76ers are desperate to find a scoring, wing player to partner with Michael Carter-Williams. Wiggins is that player who could change the future of the franchise. The 76ers still have the #10 pick to address their front court, and currently have Thaddeus Young who provides solid scoring from the 4 spot. Noel didn’t play a minute last year  and was one of two pieces they got from the Pelicans in exchange for Jrue Holiday. The 6ers can’t risk not getting their #1 player and they risk value of Noel to do so."

While I want Wiggins to be a Sixer badly, and apparently so do the Sixers, I do think they CAN risk not getting him. With Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid as the fallback options, I will feel pretty confident in whoever the Sixers get if they stay at the number three spot. Then again, I’m not in the front-office, and it’s pretty clear that they want Wiggins. I’m not saying the Sixers won’ t trade up for Wiggins, but they definitely don’t have to move up. Not only could the aforementioned players be available at three, but Wiggins himself could very realistically fall to the third pick.

As for moving Noel, it isn’t a complex answer. It’s a simple no from me. Look at it this way, I’ve heard a lot of people balk at the idea of moving the number 10 pick with the third pick to get the number one selection. Had Noel been healthy last year, he would have been the number one pick. In this year’s draft, he would likely be the fourth pick. So if you move Noel with the third pick, you are moving two top four picks, to move up and select a player who might have ended up falling to three anyway. I’m not sure that makes any sense from the Sixers’ perspective, and that leaves out the obvious question of asking where you plan to find your long-term big-man after the trade.

From the Cavs’ perspective, the move makes more sense, which Jared discusses here.