Nerlens Noel is a young big man that has been in the NBA for quite some time and yet to find a consistent role or team in the NBA. Nerlens was ranked the number one player in the nation coming out of high school by ESPN Top 100.
Only average 12 points ,7 rebounds & 3 blocks his senior year, not that outstanding for the number one player in high school. At his one year of college at Kentucky he averaged 10.5 points 9.8 rebounds, and 4.4 blocks per game. His freshman season was unfortunately cut short because of terrible ACL tear, but he was a One and Done from the day he signed his letter of intent.
Weeks before the 2013 NBA draft Noel blows off LeBron James’ Agent Rich Paul, and Worldwide Wes. Worldwide Wes says he hangs around some pretty bad people that he probably shouldn’t be around. Draft night comes around and he falls to number six, which no one seen happening even with the knee injury. People aren’t quite sure if it’s because of the pre-draft antics or because of the injury or a mix of both. Either way it surprises many people. He was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans and traded the same night to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Following that summer Noel has to sit out his entire rookie year because of the recovery for his knee surgery. Now looking back at it I’m not sure if it was for recovery or the 76ers master plan of sitting players to get a higher pick ever year. In the next couple of years, the Sixers continue to draft big men including Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric. These are very interesting moves considering that people thought Noel would be the big man of the future for them.
Fast forward a couple years to 2017. He sits out for an injury comes back, but is not in the rotation. He only clocks about 8 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers, later in the post-game interview he states “I’m not an 8 minutes’ type of guy.” Later on they have a game against the Brooklyn Nets where he doesn’t play one minute. Coach Brett Brown states he will not be in the rotation for the foreseeable future, and this has nothing to do with his recent comments. A couple of weeks later Noel finally starts and gets 19 points and 4 blocks, not too bad for a guy that’s been sitting for the entire year.
Nerlens Noel hasn’t found his spot yet
About a month later on February 23, 2017, Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a 2017 first round pick. The summer of this off-season Nerlens Noel is supposedly offered a 4 year 70-Million-dollar contract. Not too bad for a guy who has spent the majority of his career injured and only clocking minutes off of the bench.
Instead of signing this contract Nerlens turns the deal down and only signs his 4.1 Million dollar qualifying offer, maybe thinking he is worth more and to bet on himself. Four days after turning this contract down Nerlens Noel fires his agent and signs to Rich Paul and Klutch Sports. This is a very ironic move considering he blew them a couple of weeks before he got drafted a few years ago. Rich Paul declined to comment on Nerlens contract situation claiming “that deal has to do with last agent not me.”
Nerlens Noel visited the media dining room at halftime to get a hot dog. pic.twitter.com/mKYrB63e1J— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 2, 2017
His situation with the Mavericks gets even weirder during the 2017-18 season. On December 3, 2017 the Mavericks have a game against the Clippers. During half time of this game Nerlens decides to visit the Media room a grab a hot dog instead of staying in the locker room for half time. This entire situation is weird because players never visit the Media room during half time of games. He could have very easily sent a ball boy if this Hot Dog was that much of a priority.
During this time Nerlens hadn’t played in a game since November 22 2017. This is very strange since he averages 22 minutes per game last season and his average in down to 12 minutes per game and only 18 appearances at this time. To put the icing on top of the Dallas cake Nerlens Noel ended his season with a five game suspension for violating the NBA’s Anti-drug policy.
His time with the Mavericks is most likely done. I don’t see how a player can rebuild a relationship when a player has had many problems with them and even other franchises having issues with him. After turning down the 70 million dollar contract the Mavericks didn’t look like they wanted to give him much of a chance for prove himself.
A 70 million dollar contract doesn’t seem likely for him this summer. His entire basketball career dating back to his college days have been a very up and down rollover coaster ride. Where ever he ends up I wish him the best because I believe he is one of the most versatile defense players in the game today, and he could be the key to a team winning a championship.