In the news: Noel offsesaon update, Rookie Survey and ranking NBA mascots

Nerlens Noel #3 of the OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel #3 of the OKC Thunder, (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder In the news for Wednesday, August 21 features Nerlens Noel offseason update, Rookie Survey, and ranking Rumble the Bison among all NBA mascots.

Nerlens Noel offseason update:

Writer Nick Gallo continues his 2019 Summer Feature Series on the OKC Thunder site this time featuring Nerlens Noel. Gallo updates on Noel’s busy summer which included the birth of his second son (Congratulation Nerlens!). Between helping out at home and getting ready for the coming season Noel found time to pop by the recent Rookie Season Ticket Member party. Noel’s appreciation for his team and Oklahoma City was clear when he re-signed this summer, but the big man offered up some insight on his love for the fans.

"“When I heard about (the event) I definitely wanted to stop by,” Noel said. “Just the atmosphere, I love the fans of Oklahoma City. I’ve been saying since I got here how special and passionate that they are. That’s something I’ve always appreciated. That helps me, that helps my game to have fans that are behind you and support you.”"

In terms of Noel’s preparation for the 2019-20 campaign, Noel is in the gym and weight room working to improve on both sides of the court. Perhaps the most surprising news is the former Kentucky Wildcat is spending time behind the arc trying to add the 3-point shot to his repertoire. Then again, pretty much every player in the NBA is working on improving from the perimeter given the direction of the game. Simultaneously, Noel is focusing on his paint scoring.

What isn’t surprising is Noel is invested in becoming an even better defender and adding to his existing skillset.  A constant for Noel is the weight room as he has a naturally slim physique. The center’s paint presence is already a factor as Gallo notes in his article.

"Overall last season the Thunder was number five in defensive rating, and the team had a 101.7 defensive rating with Noel on the floor, the best figure of any consistent member of the rotation."

In the new era of the NBA centers with the ability to defend out to the perimeter while also rim-protecting are the most coveted. Centers who add shooting range is the other tangible quality teams are keener than ever to add to their rosters.

With Noel looking to improve in each of these areas and already a force defensively he could increase his value with a productive campaign this season. The OKC Thunder signed Noel to a two-year deal, once again with a player option next summer.

Rookies make their votes count:

More from Thunderous Intentions stats master John Schuhmann conducted his annual Rookie survey. The typical questions are all included such as who’ll win Rookie of the Year, Best Shooter, Defender, Favorite current NBA Player, etc.

Thunderous Intentions pulled up a couple of categories which should be of specific interest to OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti in our article which can be viewed here.

In addition, the stat master asked the youngsters who they watch on film. With film work taking a greater presence in game preparation and player development this piece merited its own stand-alone article.

The answers, for the most part, weren’t that surprising although it was intriguing to learn many of the rooks look at former players for help to develop their games and we’re not just talking MJ and Kobe here. New OKC Thunder point guard Chris Paul was cited which also isn’t surprising given his mastery of the pick and roll.

Where does Rumble the Bison rank among all NBA mascots?

Thunderous Intentions scribe Kevon Stewart took a look at the fun side of NBA games. His article offers up insight on all the NBA mascots. Stewart ranked the mascots based on their overall appearance, uniqueness, on-court savvy and entertainment value. The OKC Thunder mascot, Rumble the Bison was among his favorites but you’ll have to check out his article to see precisely where Rumble ranks.

Next. 3 key areas Terrance Ferguson can improve upon next season. dark

That’s all for in the news on Wednesday, August 21. Enjoy the rest of your day and meet us back here later as the team at TI continue to offer up our thoughts and opinions on your favorite team and players.