With trade rumors mostly surrounding another Sixers big man, Jahlil Okafor, in recent weeks, it was a little surprising that Noel was the player to get traded. However, with him set to become a restricted free agent this summer, the Sixers made the decision to try to get something in return for him now rather than losing him for nothing.
Justin Anderson, while seems to have regressed a bit from last season, is just 23 years old. He’s young and still has good potential as a defender and the Sixers, a team without much expectation for another couple years, have the time to allow Anderson time to develop if they choose to. He should be given the minutes necessary to showcase what he can bring to the table. Bogut, on the other hand, likely isn’t going to remain with the Sixers. The trade was made in part to reduce the Sixers’ center logjam, not replace one center by adding another.
As for the Mavericks, this is a good deal for them. Bogut had been hurt for much of the season and even when he was on the court, wasn’t as effective as the team had hoped. A young, athletic center is something the Mavericks haven’t had for more than a decade, so Noel should provide them with that. He’s shown flashes throughout his years in Philadelphia, but Noel has the potential to become one of the most intimidating all-around defenders in the NBA. He’s already a good rim protector and shot blocker, a solid rebounder, and has also shown steady improvement in his offensive game.
So long as the Mavericks are able to keep Noel as he enters restricted free agency this summer, the Mavericks will have a nice, young core (Yogi Ferrell, Seth Curry, Harrison Barnes, Noel) to potentially build around as they transition into the post-Dirk Nowitzki era. The Mavericks have needed to commit to getting younger and looking more towards the future, and the moves Mark Cuban has made recently shows that he understands that.