Breaking: Knicks Sign Former Thunder C Nerlens Noel

With their second move of the day, the Knicks have signed center Nerlens Noel. He will be the likely backup to Mitchell Robinson.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is worth one year/$5 million. The Knicks continue to give free agents one-year deals.

Overall, Nerlens Noel has bounced around the league since being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. Over the past two seasons, Noel spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 61 games last season,  he averaged 7.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.9 assists per game. Along with that came impressive defensive stats, averaging 1.5 blocks and one steal per game in 18.5 minutes.

More importantly, Noel’s 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes in 2019 ranked sixth in the NBA.

Noel has a similar playing style to Mitchell Robinson. Robinson will finally get a mentor that plays just like him. Also, Noel is certainly an upgrade over Taj Gibson, who is a traditional power forward.

Nerlens Noel has been a backup for most of his career now. He was the backup to Steven Adams in Oklahoma City last season. So he is ideally playing the same role.

Oddly enough, Noel is a Kentucky guy so he’ll be reunited with assistant Kenny Payne.

It seems as though the Knicks could probably continue signing more former Kentucky Wildcats.

 

 

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