10 big men Rockets GM Rafael Stone should pursue

John Henson #31 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
John Henson #31 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Nerlens Noel #9 (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets target #10: Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel was on the Houston Rockets’ radar in 2019-20, as they reportedly had a deal lined up that they believed would have brought Noel to Houston. Noel would have made a tremendous impact on that specific team, as the Rockets infamously employed the small-ball lineup, in part because they didn’t have a legitimate center on the roster.

Noel is a rim-protecting center, as his 7-foot-4 wingspan makes it easy for him to contest shots. Noel had an impressive per 36 statline in 2019-20, as he averaged 14.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes. Noel also made 68.4 percent of his shots, leading to a true shooting percentage of 71.1 percent.

Noel signed with the New York Knicks in the offseason, and has reportedly made it known to the Knicks’ brass that he’s unhappy.

Per source, Nerlens Noel is unhappy in New York. He and coach, Tom Thibodeau are not seeing eye to eye. Source confirms that Noel has asked to be moved or bought out as soon as possible.

— Vin Fosh NBA (@vinfosh) January 4, 2021

Noelis low on this list because of his contractual situation, as he’s under contract, unlike the other players that are listed above him. This means the Rockets wouldn’t have as easy of a path of landing Noel as the other players on this list.

But if he’s bought out, Noel could have a significant role on the Houston Rockets as a rim protector and a rim runner.

Next: No. 9