Former Kentucky Wildcats big man Nerlens Noel was reportedly set to stay put in Oklahoma City, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Nerlens Noel has agreed to a deal to return to the Thunder, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
But hours later, Woj reported that Noel and the Thunder were rethinking their deal.
Free agent Nerlens Noel has asked OKC for time to re-evaluate their earlier commitment on a new deal, and sides are continuing discussions, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2019
The former Wildcat big averaged just 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in his first season with the Thunder, but Oklahoma City and Nerlens still appeared to have worked out a deal that will keep him in place as a member of the Thunder. Perhaps another NBA team called after their deal was agreed upon to offer Noel a bigger deal.
The lack of eye-popping stats this past season was in large part due to his limited playing time for the team, but with the Thunder wanting to bring him back, the organization seems to have faith in Nerlens and his unlimited potential.
Other teams in need of a center that could jump into the mix include the Celtics and Lakers, which would give Noel a chance to possibly make a deeper playoff run next season.