The Brooklyn Nets are bolstering their frontcourt depth by signing Nerlens Noel for the reason of the season, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Free agent center Nerlens Noel is signing a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, his agent @GeorgeLangberg tells ESPN. After completing buyout with Pistons, Noel joins a Nets team needing some size off the bench.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2023
Noel, 28, only appeared in 14 games for the Detroit Pistons this season, with his last appearance coming on February 8 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He found himself buried in a frontcourt rotation featuring younger bigs like Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley and most recently James Wiseman.
Due to the roster crunch, Noel posted career-lows in minutes (10.9), points (2.3), rebounds (2.6), blocks (0.6) and two-point percentage (39.3% on 2.0 attempts).
There's still an element of event creation to Noel's game, particularly on the defensive end. In a three-start stretch in mid January, Noel accumulated seven blocks and five steals (12 "stocks") in 61 minutes. He remains rangy, able to play higher up against ball screens and disrupt things with his quick hands and length.
The Nets hope that Noel can help add some stability to their center room without having to tone down their activity. They may just be searching for more reliable backup center play, period.
The Day'Ron Sharpe minutes have been uneven, particularly since the All-Star break. The Nets have experimented with lineups featuring Ben Simmons as the backup 5. Not only has that alignment failed to work, Simmons has missed the last five games (and counting) with knee and back issues.