Toronto Raptors: Under the radar signings to address frontcourt needs

Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Nerlens Noel Six-foot-ten Center/Power Forward

Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Serge Ibaka (Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images) /

Nerlens Noel, like Jahlil Okafor, was a former draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers. In Noel’s case, he was the sixth pick in 2013. Due to an ACL tear in February of 2013, a few months before he was drafted, Noel was forced to miss his rookie season.

During his six seasons in the NBA, Noel has played for three different teams(Philadelphia, Dallas, and Oklahoma City). His best offensive season came during his sophomore year in the NBA when he averaged 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a game. Since then, his minutes per game have also dropped off from 29.3 minutes per game to 18.5.

What is intriguing about Nerlens Noel as a depth player is that he is still just 25 years old. Also, he is athletic and a defensive style center who blocked 1.5 shots per game in 2020. His scoring average was only 7.4 points per game in 2020, but he also made 33 percent of three-point attempts.

If like Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel is improving his long-range shooting, he will fit into the Raptors offensive system and help stretch the floor from the center position. He can also anchor the defense with his rim-protector ability. Ultimately, Noel made slightly over two-million dollars in 2019/20, making him another reasonably priced addition if Raptors’ management reached out to him.