Report: Sixers ‘ramping up' effort to acquire No. 3 pick for Nerlens Noel


With the selection of Ben Simmons first overall a near lock for the Sixers, the intrigue surrounding the NBA draft tonight has transfered to their pursuit of the No. 3 pick.

And according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Chad Ford, the Sixers are "ramping up their efforts" to acquire the third overall pick from the Celtics.

"Numerous rivals describe Philly as the most active team in circulation ... with a trade involving Nerlens Noel looking more and more likely," Stein tweeted at 11:53 a.m.

The Sixers' likely target at No. 3 is Providence point guard Kris Dunn, who would fill an obvious position of need. Dunn is regarded by most as the best perimeter defender and best point guard in the draft, an uber-athletic player with court vision and the ability to drive and pass. Outside shooting is seen as Dunn's weakness.

The Sixers clearly have a logjam in the frontcourt with Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and the almost certain addition of Simmons. All five of them are 6-foot-10 or taller. Questions still remain with Embiid (health) and Saric (staying in Turkey?), but the Sixers appear motivated to balance their roster. Embiid was cleared this week to take part in light 5-on-5 scrimmages, representing the biggest step forward to date he's taken with his surgically repaired foot.

Likewise, the Celtics have a need for a big man to go with Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, two offensive-minded centers. Noel could be the rim protector they seek.

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