NBA Free Agency rumors abound with Nerlens Noel targeting one of the Thunder, Lakers or Wizards. But is he a player OKC are interesting in?
NBA Free Agency rumors are rampant and as such agents tend to leak locations their clients are interested in. To that end, with Paul George and Jerami Grant re-signing in OKC, expect the Thunder to be attached to plenty of rumors in the coming days.
An underwhelming season with the Dallas Mavericks leaves center Nerlens Noel looking for a new home. One possible destination includes Oklahoma City, according to Noel’s agent.
Since his second year in the NBA, big man Nerlens Noel has found it difficult to stay on the floor. He’s played 30 games or less in three of the past five seasons, but has a chance at a fresh start with a new team this upcoming campaign.
Despite his history of injuries, Noel reportedly has four teams jockeying for position in the free agency race. Frontrunners include the Washington Wizards, LA Lakers, OKC Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans.
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This comes as a surprise to Thunder fans, who have been celebrating the re-signing of Paul George and Jerami Grant over the past 48 hours. And with this rumor now making its rounds on the internet, Oklahoma City could be in for another treat.
While Noel didn’t have much success in his short time on the floor in Dallas, he could prove useful for Oklahoma City. The Thunder finished dead last in bench scoring with an abysmal 25.5 points per game from the reserves and Noel wouldn’t help that. However, he could be a better option to turn to in lieu of Patrick Patterson or Dakari Johnson. Assuming, of course, he’s able to stay on the court.
The biggest obstacle for the Thunder at this point is cap space. OKC was sitting at just over $116 million at the start of free agency. But after signing Paul George to a 4-year, $137 million max deal and Jerami Grant to 3-year $27 million deal, Sam Presti doesn’t have much room to negotiate. Los Angeles is in a similar boat after winning the LeBron James jackpot. Alhough they have the option of releasing the hold on Juluis Randle to realas.
Noel’s performance or playing time doesn’t warrant much of a pay raise from his previous $4.18 million deal with Dallas. But with four teams reportedly in the bidding, his price could inflate. If it were just OKC and maybe one other team, a minimum deal might be in the cards. However, given his youth, teams must see potential if he manages to stay healthy.
At this point, Thunder fans should assume the rumor is just that – a rumor.