Boston can't pick up Nerlens Noel, but will anybody?
With Nerlens Noel reportedly ‘very disappointed’ by the way contract negotiations are going with the Dallas Mavericks, he finds himself playing the waiting game, holding out for what he believes to be the offer he deserves. That offer still hasn’t come his way:
Does anyone else find it weird Nerlens Noel still isn't signed?— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) July 31, 2017
Noel and his agent seem to be holding out for a max deal - a bold move for a big man with a limited offensive skillset and some concerning past injuries. He could fill a hole for numerous teams around the league however, due to his unique length and potential to become a defensive anchor. While there is only a few teams in the league capable of offering him the max and Dallas can match any deal that comes along, there are a few teams that may be able to put themselves in the conversation:
Where could he possibly go if it's not DAL? pic.twitter.com/PctUB5Vwii— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) July 31, 2017
Despite years of frequent speculation linking the 23-year-old to the organization, the Celtics aren’t one of the teams that are capable of signing Noel.
For a few years now, rebounding and athleticism at the five has been an achilles heel for Boston. This summer has seen Danny Ainge sign Aron Baynes to add some depth to the position and a physical presence inside, but seeing Noel go so long without a team picking him up during this free agency will be a source of frustration for some Boston fans.
The Celtics should figure out a way to make some cap space to sign Nerlens Noel— Zac Gordon (@ZGORD11) July 31, 2017
Celtics could become 5x better if they signed Nerlens Noel today.— Cookadelic (@WizardKellyJr) July 31, 2017
Why have Celtics not tried for Nerlens Noel? 🤔🤔— Stephen Beauchain (@sbeauchain65) July 10, 2017
The frontcourt log-jam for the Philadelphia 76ers caused a lack of significant playing time for Noel, who was moved to Dallas last year, where he averaged 8.5 points, 1.1 blocks and 6.8 rebounds in an average of 22 minutes played per game. The Celtics can no longer afford the big man but where will he end up?
Follow Josh Coyne on Twitter at @poundcoyne
Image Credit - AP Photo/LM Otero