Noel finished with seven points (2-6 FG, 3-4 FT), 14 rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocks in 33 minutes during Tuesday's 119-115 preseason victory over Milwaukee.
Noel was given some extra run with Steven Adams riding the pine in the second half. Noel took full advantage, continuing to put up some solid numbers across the preseason. It's no secret that Noel can have fantasy value even when only seeing limited playing time. He is going to playing almost exclusively as the backup center behind Steven Adams which certainly puts a cap on his upside. Barring an injury to the robust Kiwi, Noel is more of a late-round stash.
Noel accumulated 12 points (4-5 FG, 4-4 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and four blocks in 20 minutes of action in a 113-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
This sort of game shows just how good Noel can be in limited minutes, as he's a Steven Adams injury away from being a must-own player in every format. His per-36 minute averages prove that point, as he's averaging 12.8 points, 10 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 2.0 blocks per game throughout his career in 36 minutes per game. Those defensive numbers alone make him viable in his current limited role, as he's a sneaky stash in deeper formats.
Noel totaled four points (2-7 FG, 0-2 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in 21 minutes during Wednesday's 97-91 preseason loss to Detroit.
Noel had his first run as a member of the Thunder and was able to deliver his typical defensive style play. He is going to be coming off the bench behind Steven Adams and will likely only be able to carve out a reduced role once again. He most certainly has the upside to be a standard league type player and could even do so in his limited role. If he can manage to find a way to 20 minutes per night he would be worth a look in many leagues but that seems a bit of a stretch at this stage.
Noel's first full year in Dallas was quite the disappointment. He played in just 30 games, as he missed three months of the season after undergoing surgery on his thumb and he also sat out the final five games of the season on suspension. However, even when he did see the court, the big man averaged just 15.7 minutes. By signing with Oklahoma City, Noel will be afforded a fresh start, along with the opportunity to play for a playoff contender. Noel likely won't see a significant jump in his playing time considering Steven Adams' standing as the starting center, though he should get every opportunity to have a consistent role in the rotation. Noel struggles offensively at times, but it's his defense that will be most beneficial while working with the second unit. The 6-foot-11 center owns career averages of 1.4 blocks and 1.6 steals across just 26.0 minutes.
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