Nerlens Noel is the perfect center for the Washington Wizards
While there may be other names with a better reputation than Nerlens Noel, he is an incredibly valuable rim protector capable of transforming a teams defense off the bench. During his two seasons with the New York Knicks, he showed flashes of the player many thought he could be averaging 2.2 blocks and 6.4 rebounds per game in his first season.
He played a major role in the Knicks playoff berth as he took the place of Mitchell Robinson who missed most of the season due to injury. He was the anchor of that team and really the heart and soul of their defense.
Since then, he has seen a drastic reduction in minutes as Robinson has been healthy and he was traded to the Detroit Pistons who have a log jam at that position already and were trying to tank once Cade Cunningham went down with injury early in the year.
Noel is the perfect player for the Wizards as he would likely be willing to sign for under $8 million and he can be a rim protector. Earlier this season, the Wizards set the record for most points allowed in the paint, meaning that rim protection should be an area of concern in free agency.
Not only can Noel be a rim protector, but he can also be a lob threat for whoever the Wizards have at point guard next season, whether it be an incoming rookie, a newly acquired free agent, or Monte Morris.
All in all, if the Washington Wizards manage to sign one of these centers to relieve Daniel Gafford and Kristaps Porzingis for 10-15 minutes of game time, it will greatly benefit the team’s ability to rebound and defend the paint. Any of these options seem like the right kind of move for the Wizards goal of being competitive.