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Report: Nerlens Noel is indeed staying with the Thunder

Nerlens Noel, Thunder

Nerlens Noel is indeed staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This past season with the Thunder, Noel averaged 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 58.7 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from the free-throw line. The lefty made $1.7 million. 

Noel backs up Steven Adams for the Thunder. While his offensive game is still very raw, his energy and activity on defense are two traits OKC really values.

The Thunder lost to Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2019 playoffs in five games. Noel put up 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in the series. In a perfect world, Noel gets close to averaging a double-double this season for the Thunder, who will be motivated after getting embarrassed by the Blazers.

Noel, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, has career averages of 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He began his career with the Philadelphia 76ers and has played for the Dallas Mavericks and Thunder since. Noel’s best statistical season came back in 2015-16, when he averaged 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Sixers while shooting 52.1 percent overall.

The Thunder are obviously going to go as far as stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George can take them, but the role players such as Noel, Adams, Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder have to contribute as well.