Back in November, a rumor came around about Jordan Clarkson of the Lakers being moved for Nerlens Noel of the 76ers. For the sake of discussion, this trade needs to happen for several reasons. Jordan Clarkson is a fine scorer, whether he starts or comes off the bench. But I do feel he is a bit overrated, putting up inflated stats on a bad Laker team that doesn’t win very many games. I think he will be in a similar situation in Philadelphia and could take advantage of the 76ers’ lack of consistent guard play. The Lakers have potential, but there are too many bodies that need the ball in their hands to create a play, Clarkson being one of them. The future of the Lakers (at least for the near future), looks like it is D’angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle. Clarkson is almost always considered part of this core of the future, but in my opinion, if the Lakers were to move him to Philadelphia for Nerlens Noel, it would help both teams tremendously.
The 76ers have a logjam at the Center position with Joel Embiid blossoming into a real star in the making, and Jahlil Okafor’s potential taking playing time away from Noel. Noel has previously expressed his disapproval of not only his playting time but how the organization is run as well. Also, despite the solid play by TJ McConnell, once Ben Simmons comes back fully healthy, whenever that may be, we all know that the ball will be in his hands, greatly reducing the effect McConnell could have on the game. His real contributions come in his play making abilities for his teammates as he is not a great perimeter shooter, and only averages about 6ppg. If this trade was to happen, the 76ers would free up their logjam at Center, and receive a player who can score from midrange and beyond, greatly improving the 76ers’ guard play. I said I didn’t think Clarkson could be a star, but he can put up points. As I mentioned earlier, Clarkson needs the ball in his hands to create, which will help the 76ers until Simmons returns fully healthy. He is nowhere near as injury prone as Jerryd Bayless and is at least a bit more consistent than Gerald Henderson. Clarkson is also younger than both of those guys, with a very team friendly contract, which is NBA gold these days. If they brought in Clarkson, he could potentially be a third building block for the 76ers to develop their team around, after Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
As for the Lakers, this gets a little tricky with the Mozgov situation. Timofey Mozgov is not a great player, but he is a good player doing exactly what is asked of him every single night. He can finish around the rim if asked to, and he is defending the rim to the best of his abilities. But everyone can see that not only is this pretty much his peak, but speed is a big deficiency in his game, and that is something that Noel will bring to this team from the starting lineup. Noel can block shots with the best of them, can finish around the rim if asked to, and has younger legs than Mozgov. Once Brandon Ingram is fully entrenched as the starter, if they bring in Noel, and have Russell, Nick Young and Randle as your starting five, that is a very speedy lineup. I understand that Mozgov going to the second unit does greatly interrupt that chemistry, which at times has looked better than the starters’ chemistry, so that’s not an option for my idea here. In order for the Lakers to avoid having the same problem as the 76ers, Mozgov would have to be moved, but for the sake of discussing rumors, I believe this trade will greatly improve what the Lakers are trying to develop with their roster, as well as help solidify the 76ers roster.