Nerlens Noel
Free agent center Nerlens Noel is returning to the New York Knicks after inking a three-year, $32 million deal with the franchise. (Image: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nerlens Noel Signs Three-Year, $32 Million Deal with Knicks

Free agent center Nerlens Noel is returning to the New York Knicks after signing a three-year, $32 million deal as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Well, Tom Thibodeau has his rim protector for another three seasons, just like Wojnarowski said. While Noel did not produce mind boggling numbers for the Knicks last season, he did average a solid 5.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. However, a career-high 2.2 blocks per game was the true indicator of his success under Thibodeau.

Noel has bounced around the league since being selected sixth overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2013 draft before subsequently being traded on the same night to the Philadelphia 76ers. He struggled with injuries throughout his time in Philadelphia and ultimately fell out of the rotation before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2017. After just a year with the Mavs, he signed a two-year deal with the Thunder. And after his second season in Oklahoma City concluded, Noel signed with the Knicks in November of last year.

The 27-year-old center has had an up-and-down career, but he seems to have finally found his footing in the Big Apple. It will be interesting to see how many games he will start for the Knicks next season – he started 41 out of 64 games last season – within a loaded frontcourt that also boasts talent in Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson. Regardless, the Knicks have kept him around and Noel’s progress will be fun to watch. With the Knicks also re-signing Alec Burks and bringing aboard Evan Fournier, this team is gearing up for another playoff push.

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