NBA Rumors: Nerlens Noel’s Name Linked To Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers are in need of a rim protector, and the latest rumors are linking them in the hunt for Philadelphia 76ers Nerlens Noel

The Cleveland Cavaliers need help at center.  Nerlens Noel needs a team with room for a starting center.

This off-season, the Cavaliers lost center Timofey Mozgov via free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers.  Afterwards, the team traded  Sasha Kaun to our Philadelphia 76ers to free up cap space.  Since that time, the Cleveland Cavaliers have not addressed the hole of their interior.

That could be changing.

Rumors surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers centers are nothing new.  They have come non-stop since the arrival of team president Bryan Colangelo.  Almost instantly, Colangelo has pitched the message of the Philadelphia 76ers needed to address three talented centers.  Colangelo is persistant that he is looking to trade one of their centers before the start of the 2016-2017 season.

So far,  trade rumors abound but no offers amount to more than a bag of pretzels and a six-pack.   Perhaps the offers are improving.

In two stories, the current rumors are linking the Cleveland Cavaliers as a team in hot pursuit of a rim protecting center, a speciality of the Philadelphia 76ers.  The offer?  Kevin Love.

We know that Nerlens Noel is aware of trade rumors.  He’s modified his twitter account to cite the Philadelphia 76ers as his current team.  That change that has prompted many to believe he is welcome to a change.  In fact, the recent message of his loving Boston was interpreted as a signal to the Celtics to up their offer and trade for him.  He may have gotten the message out, but to a different team.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a rather urgent need at center right now.  Tristan Thompson and Chris Andersen are the Cavaliers current two options.  Thompson is a 6-foot-9 center who does not have the physicality to reject shots, and Anderson is a 6-foot-10 14 year veteran power forward who saw action in 31 games last season, including four games in the playoffs.

While Love was a contributor to the Cavaliers success in their 2016 NBA Championship, he has yet to win over the team’s affection.  Stories abound with his “misfit” with the current roster, and his defense stood out as a weakness.

We covered this scenario two months ago, but with the Cavaliers offering point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers no doubt wanted to settle LeBron James‘ contract before actively pursuing trades. Now the time is right to address the center position. The Cavaliers clearly will not be offering Irving, but potentially trading Love fits their lukewarm affections toward him.

Part of the urgency to this rumor is the belief that as the Cavaliers roster now stands, they cannot match up with the refurbished Golden State Warriors.   However, by adding Noel to this roster, the belief is that the team could do so.

Would it work?  Love is a power forward who would most likely start for the Philadelphia 76ers.  But does that aid the log jam of the team?  With Carl Landry, Richaun Holmes, Dario Saric, and Ben Simmons all staking claim to that position, adding Love to the mix seems less attractive.

The Cavaliers need Noel if they intend on repeating as NBA champions.  To get him, the team could offer a package of Love and a second player like Iman Shumpert for Noel and Carl Landry. Both teams would enjoy improving their salary cap.  Cleveland would benefit from the huge boost to defending the paint.  Meanwhile the 76ers would benefit from a young wing defender to work with.  The biggest piece is how would the Philadelphia 76ers work without Noel.  From our recent article, it seems that there are many pieces in place to make up the difference.