Report: Raptors showing interest in Nerlens Noel

The Philadelphia 76ers have a potentially valuable trade piece in center Nerlens Noel, who’s been described by ESPN’s Marc Stein as “very available” right now.

Stein notes the Raptors are one of the teams that has “expressed interest” in Noel but noted the franchise are inclined to see what young players can do in the wake of Jared Sullinger’s injury.

“…sources say Toronto’s initial preference in the wake of losing Jared Sullinger (foot) to injury is to give more minutes to various younger players (such as rookies Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl) so they get first crack at filling the void.”

Another report by RealGM.com highlighted the Raptors as being interested in Noel as well. This report points out the fact that Toronto didn’t just lose Sullinger recently but also saw young center Bismack Biyombo depart in free agency.

One thing that must be addressed before any team considers trading for Noel is the fact that he’s about to be a free agent after this season. And given the recent four-year deals that were handed out to Steven Adams (four years, $100 million) and Rudy Gobert (four years, $102 million), it’s clearly going to cost a pretty penny to lock up Noel.

The talented center is averaging 11.1 points, 8.5 rebound and 1.5 blocks per game so far this season for the Sixers. Wildly talented on the defensive end of the court, Noel is still a work in progress offensively but is the type of player teams could build around for years to come.