Nerlens Noel remains out with injury for the Philadelphia 76ers, and on the trade block with the emergence of Joel Embiid. The team has been unable to move him despite him being involved in rumors for over a year.
There are concerns over Noel's skill, health and maturity, so his value isn't sky high. However, ESPN does report one team that had interest in a Noel trade, tenuous though it may have been: Toronto.
The Raptors are among the teams that have expressed interest in Philadelphia's very available Nerlens Noel, but 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.
It's an interesting report, given that the Raptors already have Jonas Valanciunas at center. Toronto has been looking for help at power forward for several seasons, but when Noel played at power forward last season next to Jahlil Okafor, he was really rough on both ends of the floor. Plus, Pascal Siakam has shown a lot of the same shot-blocking and athletic ability as Noel .
But if the Raptors are looking for a move that could help them make a leap, Noel's an available target that could be had for cheap. GM Masai Ujiri has a long-standing history of being willing to take gambles on damaged goods, as he did in Denver when he traded Nene for JaVale McGee.
It's unclear what the Sixers are asking for Noel, given all the issues that come along with him and the crunch they have at the position. Noel had knee surgery in late October and is expected to be out several more weeks.