The New York Knicks continue to fill out their roster with fringe veterans on one-year deals.
After adding veteran wingman Alec Burks and re-signing Elfrid Payton to separate one-year contracts, the Knicks have added former lottery pick and ex-Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel a one-year, $5-million deal, according to multiple reports.
The Knicks are hoping Noel will rekindle his old Kentucky form with new assistant coach Kenny Payne, the man credited for producing NBA-caliber bigs under UK coach John Calipari’s program.
Noel will join his fellow Klutch Sports client Mitchell Robinson to anchor the Knicks’ defensive backbone this season.
Last season, only two players in the NBA appeared in at least 50 games and shot above 65% from the floor and averaged more than 2.5 blocks per-36 minutes:
Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel.
They’re now both teammates on the Knicks.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 22, 2020
Noel, the sixth pick in 2013, will be playing for his fourth team after stints with the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Noel will be the fourth player with Kentucky ties in the Knicks roster, joining Julius Randle, Kevin Knox, and Immanuel Quickley.
Meanwhile, according to ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks, Theo Pinson will return to the Knicks on a two-way contract.
Pinson’s $1.7 million team option was earlier declined. His return means the Knicks have filled up their two slots for two-way players, the other being Jared Harper.
As a two-way player, Pinson can play up to 50 games this season.
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