OKC Thunder Media Day: Nerlens Noel, three times the charm?

Nerlens Noel, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Nerlens Noel hit his first OKC Thunder Media Day as a fifth year player starting over on his third team and hoping this time the fit is right.

Once considered the top draft prospect of his class Nerlens Noel suffered health setbacks and slide down the drafting order to sixth. Upon arrival in Philly he missed the entirety of the 76ers 2013-14 season. Upon return he suffered more injuries and never seemed able to mesh with the ‘process’ group.

A trade sent him to Dallas, but his brief sojourn with the Mavericks was no more productive. As a free agent he took far less money than the original deal offered by Dallas prior to last season. The Mavericks extended a four-year, $70 million offer. Ultimately, Noel elected to sign a two year $1.7 million deal in OKC with a player option in year two.

Per Game Table
3 seasonsPHI17114028.
2 seasonsDAL521818.

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/23/2018.

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For as much as Noel is seeking the perfect fit he presents something for the Thunder they’ve been lacking which is a true backup to Steven Adams.

Certainly Noel was hoping to be a starting caliber center, but after four years without the success he desired a reserve role could offer the chance to dominate opposing reserve centers and showcase his assets.

Why did you select the OKC Thunder over other teams in free agency? 

Nerlens Noel gave an interesting quote talking about his fit with the OKC Thunder. Noel, said he watched the playoffs last year and he imagined himself being the back up big man for this team.

What are your goals this season in Oklahoma? 

This general question got a playoff promise from Noel, which for a team like this, is not going out on a limb. However, it would be Noel’s first ever playoff appearance.

dark. Next. OKC offers perfect Nerlens Noel career rehab location

Nerlens Noel has spent most of his career being immature, and at times a problem in the locker room after not liking the way he was used in Dallas demanding to be involved more on offense. He seems to be accepting his role with the team. Noel added that OKC starting big Steven Adams is his guy. Saying simply “Steven’s my guy.” Maybe a now veteran Adams can mentor the still young Noel.