Oklahoma City Thunder: 3 reasons Nerlens Noel is a good risk

(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Nerlens Noel has reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here’s why bringing him aboard is a good risk for them to take.

Nerlens Noel has reached an agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder for a two-year deal. The former sixth overall pick will look to resurrect what has been a very disappointing career so far. After spending the last two seasons wasting away on the bench for the Dallas Mavericks, Noel will take his talents to next door to OKC and hope the change of scenery does him well.

After agreeing to re-sign Paul George to a four-year, $137 million deal, the Thunder have virtually no cap space left to work with. This means for the rest of the free agency period, they’ll have to rely on signing players for the veteran minimum or the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.3 million).

Lucky for them, Noel’s image is so tarnished by this point that he had to take the veteran minimum to get on a team that isn’t tanking. Now, he will have a chance to play alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. After two seasons on a terrible Mavericks team, this has to be a welcome change for him.

Thunder head coach Billy Donovan will have some interesting decisions going forward about how to work his new center into the lineup. Noel will likely compete for minutes with Jerami Grant off the bench, who was also recently re-signed. However, Grant is more suited to a power forward role, so we may see these two out on the court together at times too.

This is a great deal for both sides. The Thunder get a player with high potential for cheap, and Noel gets a chance to redeem himself for past failures on a competitive basketball team. Here are three reasons why signing Noel was a risk well worth taking for the Thunder.