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Thunder Unlikely to Re-Sign Nerlens Noel Unless He Takes a Pay Cut

DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 14: Nerlens Noel #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder plays the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on December 14, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets | Matthew Stockman

Nerlens Noel is coming off of a meager season with the OKC Thunder. After stints in Philadelphia and Dallas where big minutes were a given, Noel came to the Thunder aware that he would be coming off the bench with less playing time and less money, and he said he was fine with it.

Despite his 59% shooting and defensive spark, howver, it is still unlikely that the big man will be able to call Oklahoma City his home for much longer. To stick around past his upcoming free agency, he's going to have to accept a discounted contract.

This shouldn't be too hard for Noel considering how much he seems to enjoy this team. This also wouldn't be new for him considering the large pay cut he took in Dallas after he was reportedly offered a four-year, $70 million contract in 2017 and stunningly declined, opting to sign a qualifying offer and hit unrestricted free agency sooner.

Playing behind Steven Adams, Noel was able to average 4.9 points on 3.6 shot attempts along with 4.2 rebounds per game. If he is amenable with the idea of a pay cut, it's clear that there is still a contributor's role for him in OKC.