Detroit Pistons’ training camp: Battle of the big men
Kelly Olynyk vs. Nerlens Noel
If I had to bet, I’d put money down that neither of these players are on the Detroit Pistons by the end of next season, but which will be the first to go?
Of these two, Olynyk probably has more value as a big man who can space the floor, but Noel has also shown that he can be the part-time anchor of a good defense, which contending teams also value.
Both have team-friendly contracts with no long-term obligations, as Olynyk will make $12.8 million next season and only has a partially guaranteed year after that. Noel will take home $9.2 million next season and then has only a team option remaining, so teams could trade for these guys without worrying about paying them in the future.
I think Olynyk will have more value for a couple of reasons. There are more teams looking for shooting than one-dimensional big men, and Olynyk is likely to play more, so his skills will be showcased for teams to see while Noel mostly sits on the bench.
I actually think Olynyk could be a trade target for several contending teams looking to bolster their big man depth and shooting, so I think he’ll be the first center traded unless the Pistons are actually competitive.