2020 NBA Free Agency: 3 Reasons why the Washington Wizards should sign Nerlens Noel

Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel
Washington Wizards Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Reason #1: Paint Defense

Thomas Bryant is expected to be the starting center once again this year after holding down the starting spot for 36 games last season. Bryant has made a ton of strides, defensively. Particularly, during the eight games in the bubble where he showed vast improvement. However, the Wizards still need a more defensive-minded big man down low to defend the paint. And this is exactly where Nerlens Noel comes into play.

Nerlens Noel was a shot-blocking menace for the Thunder last season! Noel finished the season with a stellar 105.3 defensive rating and was responsible for 63.6 percent of the Thunder’s blocks when he was on the floor. In only 18.5 mins of play, he averaged 1.5 BPG. He finished the 2019-2020 regular season ranked 11th in blocks per game and 15th in total blocks with 91. It’s important to point out that everyone ranked ahead of him in the top-10 averaged over 22 mins of play per game. Noel was able to block 1.5 shots in less than 20 minutes of play a night! That alone lets you know how great of a rim protector he is.

His defensive presence in the paint is a big reason why the Oklahoma City Thunder finished seventh in defensive rating last year. On the other hand, the Wizards struggled mightily. Opponents scored a whopping 51.4 points in the paint against the Wizards last year. Adding Nerlens Noel could change all of that. He would make opponents think twice about attacking the basket because he’s such a good help defender and instinctive shot-blocker. His presence in the backend would be felt instantly!