Nerlens Noel has agreed to a buyout with the Detroit Pistons, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The agreement was reached before the March 1 deadline, which would have allowed Noel to become an unrestricted free agent.
Noel had been in negotiations with the Pistons for a buyout since mid-January. The 26-year-old center had been with the team since the start of the 2019-20 season, when he was acquired in a trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In his time with the Pistons, Noel averaged 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per game. He was a solid contributor off the bench, but was unable to carve out a consistent role in the rotation.
Noel’s buyout is a win-win for both sides. The Pistons will save some money on the salary cap, while Noel will be free to sign with a team of his choosing. The veteran center should have no shortage of suitors, as he is a solid rim protector and a capable rebounder.
Noel is expected to sign with a playoff contender for the remainder of the season. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat could all use his services. Wherever he goes, Noel could be a key contributor off the bench for a team looking to make a deep playoff run.