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RUMORS: Knicks have problem in bringing back defensive big man to help Julius Randle

Knicks, Nerlens Noel, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle

The New York Knicks are looking to build on their stirring run last season, as they hope to find more firepower to help the young pair of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

But the Knicks might want to start on their own backyard first before looking elsewhere. They need to appease Mitchell Robinson with an enticing deal after the young big man grew disappointed with his role in the final stretch of last season. But perhaps a more important goal for the Knicks is to re-sign Nerlens Noel, who ably stepped up when Robinson was sidelined.

Noel was instrumental in the Knicks’ run to the NBA Playoffs, providing rim protection, energy, and toughness, three things that coach Tom Thibodeau adores. But reportedly, the Knicks will have to shoo away other suitors of Noel and it could be difficult (via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype).

The Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons, and Sacramento Kings are all expected to pursue Nerlens Noel in free agency, league sources told HoopsHype.

The Knicks should be Noel’s main option, given how well he played last season in arguably the best stretch of his up-and-down career. The no. 6 overall pick in 2013 was projected to be a franchise-changer, but instead, he’s bounced around different teams before seemingly finding a home in the Big Apple.

It would be sad to see the Knicks core get disbanded after such an inspiring run. Getting Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson back in the fold would be a logical move, but of course, the critical decision is up to the two big men who could get more lucrative offers elsewhere.