By now, most of us are aware that the 76ers have been in trade discussions with various teams about Nerlens Noel and/or Jahlil Okafor. We also know there's a good chance that one of the two centers won't be on the team at the conclusion of this season.
Sixers president Bryan Colangelo was asked about the trade talks while taping The Vertical Podcast with Woj on Tuesday.
In the past, Colangelo said he was "absolutely not" comfortable entering the season with centers Joel Embiid, Okafor and Noel all on the roster. But while being interviewed by Adrian Wojnarowski, he said a trade was not imminent.
"Making a statement that absolutely something will be done is not necessarily the case," Colangelo said during the podcast, which was released Wednesday morning. "I think what I said over the course of the summer is there is no doubt that we got three talented players. It's a high-class problem to have."
He appeared to back off the absolutely-not-comfortable statement. Colangelo pointed out that the unknowns regarding the three centers' health – in particular, Embiid (foot) – put the Sixers in a situation in which they will entertain trade discussions if they make sense.
"But I never felt compelled that we have to do something, because it will work itself out over the course of time," he said. "Some of it will work itself out with contract negotiations and free agency. There's different things that are staggered in terms of time line."
"First up, Nerlens Noel. Second up, Joel Embiid. Third would be Okafor, in terms of contract staggering. So there's some of that that's in play."
Noel's rookie contract will expire at the end of this season. The Sixers can give him a contract extension by the Oct. 31 deadline. The 6-foot-11, 228-pounder would become a restricted free agent next summer, meaning the Sixers could match any offer he receives from another team.
Embiid's rookie deal will be up after the 2017-18 season, and Okafor's will expire after 2018-19.
"But the notion that we were out shopping any of them and aggressively pushing to make a deal is not the case," Colangelo said. "We certainly listened because a lot of people thought we were in a corner.
"We never felt like we were in that corner. We feel like we've got three talented players that we are going to obviously let work itself out."
He added that players are going to compete for time, and the franchise is going to see who's healthy.
Embiid, a 7-2, 275-pounder who was picked third overall in the 2014 draft, had two operations on the navicular bone in his right foot. That prevented him from playing in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
The Sixers will have him on a minutes restriction. Embiid also isn't expected to play on back-to-back nights.
Okafor had season-ending arthroscopic surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The injury ultimately cost the third overall pick the final 23 games of the season, considering he hadn't played since Feb. 28.
The 20-year-old rolled his ankle two weeks ago. The Sixers said he'll be ready to go at the start of training camp on Tuesday.
Colangelo didn't sound like someone eager to dump one of his bigs in this interview. One might argue that he's trying to bring up their trade value. The value would go up if teams think there's a chance the Sixers might might consider keeping all three.
But that hasn't been the perception. As a result, teams have been unwilling to give the Sixers equal value in return for Noel or Okafor. That's probably one of the major reasons they both remain on the Sixers roster.
Follow and contact 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and on Instagram at PompeyOnSixers