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Report: Nerlens Noel to return to Thunder

Nerlens Noel, Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder are bringing back center Nerlens Noel.

Noel and the Thunder have agreed on a new deal, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Noel first signed with the Thunder as a free agent last summer.

Prior to his tenure with OKC, Noel played with the Philadelphia 76ers—he was their sixth overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft—before the Sixers sent the 6-foot-11 Noel to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut, and a second-round pick. Nerlens played another season with the Mavericks before signing as a free agent with the Thunder in 2018.

Noel averaged 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game in 77 appearances in his single season with the Thunder this past year. He shot 58.7% from the field and 68.4% from the free throw line.

Noel is known for his shot-blocking prowess. He’s a depth piece behind starting OKC center Steven Adams. Noel is a high-percentage shooter due to his proclivity for close-range shots near the rim.

Nerlens played a single collegiate season at the University of Kentucky under Coach John Calipari.

The Thunder are attempting to rebuild their team and reach the Western Conference Finals again. With Paul George and Russell Westbrook—two All-Stars that both finished top-10 in the 2018-19 NBA MVP voting—the Thunder should continue to be a scary team to face off against.

OKC hopes Noel will be a solid player off the bench again.