NBA Rumors: Multiple Teams Interested in Nerlens Noel – Sports Illustrated - Techy Hunters


Monday, July 19, 2021

NBA Rumors: Multiple Teams Interested in Nerlens Noel – Sports Illustrated

The New York Knicks were one of the most surprising teams in the NBA this season. Their rag-tag group, led by Most Improved Player Julius Randle, shocked the league and climbed all the way to fourth in the Eastern Conference. 

For the first time in almost a decade, playoff basketball returned to Madison Square Garden. Sadly, their postseason run did not last long. Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks sent the Knicks packing in the first round. 

Like Randle, multiple players on the Knicks used their opportunity to showcase their talents. Nerlens Noel performed so well for this Knicks this year that it has put him on the radar of multiple NBA franchises. 

Coming out of Kentucky Noel displayed the potential of being a defensive phenom in the NBA for years to come. Injuries, along with constantly changing teams, have impacted the young center. 

The potential he showed in college returned this season for the Knicks. Noel proved that he is still more than capable of anchoring a good defense. In 64 games this season, Noel averaged a career-high 2.2 BPG and 1.1 SPG. 

Now a free agent, the former lottery pick is once again looking for a new home. Recent reports have come out that multiple teams have their eyes on the defensive stopper. Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported that the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors are among the teams interested in Noel. 

Noel could possibly be a backup plan for the Kings in free agency. Their starting center Richaun Holmes is also a free agent. With how well he has thrived in recent seasons, teams will be lining up to acquire him. Sacramento might opt to sing Noel at a more team-friendly price then attempt to retain Holmes. 

Toronto is an enticing option for a player like Noel. If any coach can maximize Noel’s impact on the floor defensively, it’s Nick Nurse. At just 26-years-old, he also fits the timeline of the Raptors’ new core. 

We are slowly witnessing the return of the big man, whether it’s dominant centers like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic battling for MVP or Deandre Ayton shining in the postseason. 

With this resurgence of the big man, teams might start putting a premium on defensive specialist centers like Noel. 

Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey’s 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.

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