DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks made a play for the future Thursday (Friday, Manila time) by acquiring big man Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick.
Sources told The Associated Press the teams agreed on the deal before the trade deadline.
The 22-year-old Noel was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft. He clashed with the Sixers at times due to a logjam in the frontcourt that also included Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid. He gives the Mavericks an athletic, defensive-minded power forward who will be a restricted free agent this summer.
Noel will join Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki in the Mavericks’ big man rotation.
But the trade fits with the Mavericks' intentions to get younger and more athletic with Nowitzki's career winding down and the team among the also-rans in the Western Conference with an outside shot at the eighth playoff spot.
Bogut was not able to fit in at center for Dallas after being sent in a trade from Golden State when the Warriors had to unload players to make room under the salary cap for Kevin Durant.
The 32-year-old Bogut was limited to 26 games by injuries but ended up coming off the bench when he was healthy.
Noel missed the first 23 games this season with a left knee injury after battling a groin issue in the preseason. He started 133 of 142 games his first two seasons after missing a year because of knee surgery coming out of Kentucky. Noel has career averages of 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.
Anderson was a first-round pick by Dallas in 2015 but never could work his way into the rotation consistently. He averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 106 games with 11 starts for the Mavericks.