Reports: Nerlens Noel To Sign With OKC Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY - Center Nerlens Noel has agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to multiple sports reports.
Noel was drafted sixth overall in 2013 by the New Orleans Pelicans and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Nerlens Noel's career has not gone to plan so far. He sat out his first season due to injury, showed some promise early on with the Philadelphia 76ers, but was then buried on the bench after being traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2016-17 season. In a season and a half with the Mavericks, he got on the court for just 52 games, starting only 18 of them.
Noel played less than one season with the Kentucky Wildcats but didn't finish out the season due to an ACL tear.
Now, Noel is getting a fresh start. According to a report from Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, Noel has agreed to a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It comes with a player option for the second year.
The Thunder have already had a successful offseason, convincing Paul George to stay with the team. In what came as a surprise to many, George spurned the Lakersto sign a four-year deal with the Thunder. Now, they've made an interesting pick up here with the Noel deal.
He clearly has talent, but there were questions about his work ethic with the Mavericks. Plus, he was suspended for five games at the end of last season for violating the league's anti-drug policy, which contributed to his value dropping this summer.
In the end, this is a good gamble for both the Thunder and Noel. OKC gets a talented, defensive-minded big man to add to their frontcourt depth for not much money. Meanwhile, Noel gets to go to a playoff team with a chance to rehab his image and value. If he plays well, he can opt out next summer and potentially get a bigger deal somewhere.