Quotable: Amid Trade Rumors, Hunter Pence Praises Philly Fans

Quotable: Amid Trade Rumors, Hunter Pence Praises Philly Fans

As the Phillies seemingly approach a "sell" period before the trade deadline hits on July 31, very few names have been left off the table. The latest is Hunter Pence, who reportedly the team is "eager to move" according to a story by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Who ultimately will and will not be up for grabs when Ruben Amaro finally pulls the plug on this season is still anybody's guess. I'm sure he's tested the waters with any number of players, and would listen to calls for just about anyone. Pence hears the noise though, and he's hoping rumor doesn't become reality. Philadelphia is where he wants to play.

In an interview on 94WIP (via CBS Philly), Pence praised the passion of Phillies fans, and made his preference perfectly clear:

“I just heard [the report]. Right now. I love Philly, I love being here, I mean look at these fans. The passion is unbelievable. There’s no better place to play baseball, no better place to win, really no worse place to lose, but that’s what you’ve got to love if you’re a competitor, you love passion from your fans,” Pence told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese. “You know, we expect a lot of ourselves and I absolutely love it here, so I hope [a trade] doesn’t come through.”

You gotta love that, but it doesn't change the fact that Pence will be a free agent following next season, and whether the Phillies intend to keep him beyond that depends on a number of factors -- how a then 31-year-old right fielder prices himself, for one.

We don't envy RAJ in this situation, having to make determinations on which players can be part of the long-term solution when they would otherwise still be under contract. Ultimately the decision to trade a player like Pence probably depends on the return, which Rosenthal noted may not be great. However, offers are certainly worthy of consideration.

Only one thing is really for certain at this point: things are about to get interesting.

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

Nerlens Noel to undergo minor surgery on left knee

The Sixers on Friday announced that center Nerlens Noel will undergo a minor surgical procedure on his left knee to address an inflamed plica. 

Noel appeared in the Sixers' first preaseason game, but has been sidelined since Oct. 6 because of a left groin strain. 

While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

Noel's status for the season opener on Oct. 26 was already in question, and knee surgery should officially rule him out. There is no timetable for his return.

No surgery for Bayless
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless' left wrist ligament injury will not require surgery.

Bayless, who has been a limited participant in training camp, will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

The logam at the center position has dominated talk surrounding the Sixers as they approach the start of the 2016-17 season.

While a trade has yet to be made, Bovada believes there's a good chance two of the team's three young centers won't be in Philadelphia by season's end. 

Bovada released their NBA player props for the upcoming NBA season Tuesday, listing Nerlens Noel (5/7) and Jahlil Okafor (8/5) as two of the league's favorites to be dealt before February's trade deadline. On the other hand, Noel's odds to not be dealt are even, while Okafor's odds to remain a Sixer past this season are 4/9.

Kings swingman Rudy Gay was between Noel and Okafor with the second-best odds to be traded at 5/9. Gay's teammate DeMarcus Cousins had the fourth-best odds at 3/1. 

Bovada's over/under player props featured bets involving six different Sixers. Joel Embiid's rookie stat line was set at 13.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. In five preseason games, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 14.4 minutes of action. If his limited preseason action is any indication, Embiid could certainly reach Bovada's averages once his minutes restriction comes off. 

Here are the rest of the Sixers' over/under prop bets: 

  • Jahlil Okafor: 15 points, 6.5 rebounds
  • Nerlens Noel: 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds
  • Gerald Henderson: 10.5 points
  • Robert Covington: 12.5 points
  • Dario Saric: 5.0 rebounds