Report: Sixers made an inquiry about Nerlens Noel

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (21) goes up for a shot against Detroit Pistons’ Nerlens Noel (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia 76ers are in the market for a backup big-man with names like Naz Reid and Jarred Vanderbilt being connected to the team. Most recently, the Sixers have been linked to a familiar face, the man who, in a way, began the process, Nerlens Noel.

According to The Athletic’s James Edwards III, the Sixers have “recently called the Pistons and inquired about Noel.”

Philadelphia is just one team among those interested. Other involved teams include the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, the Miami Heat, and the Sacramento Kings.

Drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans, Noel was traded to the Sixers as a part of the deal that sent away Jrue Holiday, ushering in the era of “The Process.”

Spending the first two and a half seasons of his career in Philadelphia, Noel averaged 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game. This season, Noel has seen his role significantly reduced, playing just 11.4 minutes per game, averaging 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds over the 13 games he’s played this season.

Noel likely wouldn’t cost much on Philadelphia’s end in terms of assets; however, he is making $9.2 million this season, which the team would have to closely match to make a deal viable. With a club option next season for $9.6 million, Noel would also be an opportunity to save some salary against the cap next season.