|Manhattan For 2nd Round Beads|
Who, well, blew it. And will likely continue to blow it, until this team winds up capping its ceiling in the 40-45 win zone with a healthy Joel Embiid, and a 25-30 win zone without him. Kind of like exactly where we were before three years of acquiring assets!
Let's review both deals in turn.
Nerlens Noel to Dallas for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut, and a protected first round that's likely going to be two second round picks.
Ersan Ilyasova to Atlanta for Tiago Splitter and some second round chattel.
Noel is a world-class defender, a limited offensive player who has still added skills every year of his career, and younger (!) than Anderson, the only return of this trade that's likely to see the court for the Sixers. Anderson's a wing player that looks a lot like a more expensive and less effective Robert Covington, which is to say a guy who is going to get floor time with the departure of Ilyasova, but not do much with it. As for the protected pick, NBA Hell is paved with teams that draft in the 15-25 range, get guys who tap out at bench level, and pay more for them than they would from finding guys in free agency or the second round. (As for Bogut and Splitter, both are likely health and buyout and toss candidates, just like in the bad old days when the Sixers were unwatchable and threw away guys like JaVale McGee just because.)
Oh, and here's the additional fun point: Noel leaving means that the clearly inferior Jahlil Okafor is here for the long term, and Oak isn't, well, a good NBA player. Now or ever, in that his vaunted offensive game is 3-point-less, which means it doesn't really work in today's game, and his defense and rebounding are bad when he cares, and worse most of the time.
If you want to give the Sixer brain trust far more credit than they deserve, you spin it like this. Noel was going to cost a lot of money to retain and would have never been happy being Embiid's caddy and injury fallback. Okafor has been a model citizen throughout this period of uncertainty, and Noel pouted in the pre-season. Scorers are harder to find than defenders, and Oakafor is still really young.
The trouble with all of that is that if Okafor is bad at defense when he's young, plodding and earthbound, he's going to be an absolute joke at it after he gets some wear and tear. And for all of his low-post craftiness, he's not better than Embiid down on the block, which means that he's never going to be a guy you can play effectively with our super stud. Noel, actually, worked well with him, since Nerlens' offensive game is entirely dunk and free throw jumper based; he can just pound the glass and let Embiid do whatever he wanted to.
As for Ilyasova... well, Splitter isn't going to play here, and Sam Hinkie was routinely ridiculed for trading bad players for second rounders. Now we're moving serviceable ones for those. What professionalism the Colangelos bring to the organization; so glad that Adam Silver forced him here.
And yes, I know, I'm making too much out of this, and maybe Anderson develops here and I'm probably just protecting personal stress on this. But dammit, we had a franchise that routinely won trades, always worked with a clear objective in mind, and rarely moved young players at anything other than maximum value.
Now, we don't.
Which pretty much makes it four for four in area teams who seem to just wing it...