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May 27, 2016 | 8:08 am EDT Update

Sixers likely to trade Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel

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With that in mind, NBA insider Chad Ford doesn’t think the Sixers will wait. In fact, in an interview for 97.3 ESPN, the veteran reporter went on to describe the possibility of either Okafor or Noel being traded before the 2016-17 season as likely. Chad Ford: I think that there’s a very high likelihood, that whether it’s to move up in the draft or use them to grab a free agent in a sign and trade or just to a trade, that you will not see the Nerlens Noel-Jahlil Okafor pairing at the start of next season. I think that they’ll gauge the interest of both players. I think that there might be a slight preference for Noel, to keep him around with the Sixers, and I think you might be right, there might be a slight, better value for Okafor out on the market, but I think everyone agrees that that combination of those two players doesn’t necessarily work.
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Ford: The Sixers needs to pick up assets, especially if they’re gonna go ahead and do a Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram with the first pick in the draft. Then they’re gonna need those assets to start to fill out their backcourt, because the 24th pick and [the 26th pick], you’re not finding starters. I’m not even sure that you’re necessarily finding rotation players at that back end of the draft that are gonna make big impact, so they’re gonna have to do that via free agency or via trade, and I think either Okafor or Noel — I don’t think they’ll trade both — but one of those two is probably their best trade chip.
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This summer represents a milestone moment for the young agency: NBA star Kevin Durant becomes a free agent July 1, the biggest chance yet for Roc Nation to show it’s more than flash and bravado. While basketball observers increasingly feel Durant might be sticking around Oklahoma City for at least the short term, the folks around Roc Nation are giving away few secrets about what kind of contract might be in store. “We know this is a big deal and a big moment in his career,” said Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent with Roc Nation, who worked with hip-hop stars such as Wale in a past professional life. “We also have to be his guiding light in this. We can’t let the pressure of the situation be bigger than it is. Obviously, we understand all eyes are looking at him and looking at his decisions, and people want to see how we’re going to handle it, too.”
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He stole the ball from Kevin Durant on one end, then weaved his way in and out of all those blue jerseys on the other. Down the right side of the lane – past Russell Westbrook, past Steven Adams – the ball over them all as his finger-roll fell in for a 10-point lead with 1:02 to go. “We ain’t going home,” he yelled into the Oracle Arena crowd. No, they’re not. Down 3-2 and still facing the toughest of tasks, they’re headed to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Saturday.
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