Following a two-year stint playing for the New York Knicks, Nerlens Noel was traded to a Detroit Pistons team that had a gaping hole in their center rotation.
He may have been the perfect player for the Pistons to trade for as he has eight years of experience being a defensive anchor on the NBA level.
Nerlens Noel can serve as the ideal back up big for Jalen Duren to help the Detroit Pistons defense.
Nerlens Noel has always been a good defender with his 2.2 blocks per game in the 2020-21 NBA season helping lead the Knicks to their first playoff berth since 2013.
The former 6th overall pick is consistently contesting or blocking shots on defense while also being a decent rebounder.
Noel is a player that can move out and hold his own against wings as well with the ability to move his feet, reducing the amount of times smaller players can just blow by him.
With his natural instincts on defense, he could make a big impact off the bench by erasing the mistakes made by the young perimeter players.
Having a player like that roaming the paint will make the jobs of Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey, and other forwards much easier by giving them a shot blocker to guide the opposing offense into.
This isn’t even taking into account that he would be a fantastic lob threat for both Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in a pick-and-roll situation.
His above average athleticism for his size mixed with his long arms will create matchup problems and give guard Killian Hayes a lob threat in the second unit.
Nerlens Noel could also be the perfect teacher for the young big men on the Detroit Pistons roster.
With young big men like Marvin Bagley III and Jalen Duren having all the talent in the world but no refining to the rough edges in their game, an experienced teacher that does many of the same things they do should be a big help in both practice and games.
Noel is the exact style of player that Duren should aspire to be, a lockdown defender that can also be a deadly lob threat. The rookie clearly has potential to be far more than that, but these are areas that he will need to be great at for the Pistons to succeed.
The eight-year vet can teach players like Marvin Bagley or Isaiah Stewart exactly where to be on defense and exactly when to be there by giving examples in game while also making their jobs easier on the court.
He was the cheapest available player to help guide the young Pistons and possibly one of the best, as he has very little extra baggage coming with him like All-Star aspirations or recent team drama. He can focus on teaching the young guys how to be great on defense.
While he may not be the best center in the NBA, Nerlens Noel was certainly the right choice for the situation the Detroit Pistons find themselves in and should not be involved in any kind of trade this offseason.