3. Nerlens Noel
Although Nerlens Noel has been in the league for a decade, he’s still only 29-years-old. In other words, the 6-foot-11 Noel is still capable of providing a strong defensive presence around the rim, which is all the Rockets would need him to do.
Especially as a reserve center. Noel can run the floor and has a 7-foot-4 wingspan, which has helped him contest shots throughout his career, and prompted him to be a top-6 pick in the NBA Draft.
Again, the Rockets wouldn’t be asking Noel to be a primary option offensively, as he wasn’t capable of being that even in his prime. They’d just need his interior toughness on defense, in addition to his ability to operate as a lob threat for Amen Thompson and the second unit (whenever Thompson returns).
Noel’s lateral movement is still good enough to suffice. Especially on a veteran’s-minimum deal.