Nerlens Noel will return to the New York Knicks on a three-year deal.
Shortly after free agency opened this evening, the former Kentucky standout reached an agreement with the Knicks worth $32 million over three years.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi was the first to break the news.
Free agent C Nerlens Noel is returning to the New York Knicks on a three-year, $32M contract, his agent @GeorgeLangberg tells ESPN. Tom Thibodeau keeps his rim protector.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2021
The 6-foot-11 center had one of his most successful seasons of his seven-year career in New York in 2020-21, with the the 27-year-old averaging 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and a career-high 2.2 blocks in 64 total games and 41 starts.
The former Wildcat previously spent three years with the Philadelphia 76ers, two years with the Dallas Mavericks and two years with the Oklahoma City Thunder before joining the Knicks last offseason.
Noel rejoins a roster that also includes Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley and Kevin Knox, with former UK assistant Kenny Payne also on staff to form the ‘Kentucky Knicks.’
In his lone season at Kentucky in 2012-13, Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks, 2.1 steals and 1.6 assists per contest in 24 total games. Despite a season-ending ACL injury during SEC play, the standout shot blocker earned All-SEC First Team, SEC All-Defense, SEC All-Freshman, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and SEC Rookie of the Year honors. Noel was selected No. 6 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.