The Kings reportedly have expressed interest in Detroit Pistons’ big man Nerlens Noel, but they aren’t the only ones.
Sacramento is one of six teams showing interest in the 6-foot-10 center, The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III reported Sunday, citing league sources. The Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets also are interested in Noel, per the report.
As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline quickly approaches, teams are looking to make moves to help bolster their rosters down the stretch.
Mike Brown and the Kings have been searching for a permanent second option at center behind three-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis. Brown has experimented with potential backups like Alex Len, Richuan Holmes and Chimezie Metu, but has yet to lock in on one of the big men.
Noel could be the missing puzzle piece for Brown and the Kings as they push to end their 16-year playoff drought. Plus, this isn’t the first time the Kings have shown interest in Noel.
Back in December, Edwards III also reported, citing sources, that the Kings were “engaged in trade talks” with the Pistons.
As of Sunday, Detroit sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 14-40 record. A source told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Pistons would be open to buying out Noel’s contract if he doesn't get traded.
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Noel has played with the Sixers, Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks and now with the Pistons. The 28-year-old is averaging career lows of 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 11.4 minutes in 13 appearances (three starts) for the rebuilding Pistons.
But he's a great shot-blocker and his length could do well for the Kings on both ends of the floor. If Sacramento moves forward with Detroit and the Kings are able to bring Noel to Sactown, Sabonis' load could be lessened for the remainder of the season as their postseason hopes are within reach.