The Boston Celtics have until midnight ET on July 18, 2022, to use the $17.1 million Evan Fournier trade exception. They can acquire either a player who makes that exact amount of money or less, or they can acquire multiple players whose contracts total out to $17.1 million. With the exception set to expire in less than 24 hours, Keith Smith recently laid out a number of options of who the Celtics could get before they lose it. Among those options is Massachusetts native Nerlens Noel.

9. Nerlens Noel – $9,240,000 – Detroit Pistons: Noel is a Boston kid and has been a rumored Celtics target for years. The challenge is that he’s rarely healthy and he’s basically a poor man’s version of Rob Williams at this point. The good news? Detroit would probably let him go for a song. The bad news? Noel is healthy less often than Williams is.

Noel was acquired by the Pistons along with Alec Burks from the New York Knicks earlier this summer in a cap-clearing move so that the Knicks could pursue free agent guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

Noel played in 25 games during the 2021-22 season because of plantar fasciitis, a sprained knee, and lower back soreness that plagued him throughout the year.

Because Noel is slated to make $9,240,000 during the 2022-23 season, he would fit into the Evan Fournier TPE. However, from the sounds of things, Noel appears to be happy to be a Piston.

Noel Voiced Excitement Over Joining Detroit

After Noel’s trade to Detroit had been announced, Noel took to Instagram to express how excited he was to join the Pistons.

“Detroit basketball! Let’s go! I’m here in Detroit feeling it out. I’m loving it. Detroit, y’all know what Imma bring man. If y’all don’t, y’all gonna find out.”

Nerlens Noel on IG: “ Detroit basketball! Let’s Go. I’m here in Detroit, feeling it out, I’m loving it. Detroit y’all know what Imma bring man. If y’all don’t y’all gonna find out. 💯”

— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) July 6, 2022

Noel’s apparent excitement does not mean the Pistons won’t trade him. There is a logjam of bigs on the Pistons roster at the moment. If Noel were to play, he would have to share minutes with Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Jalen Duran, Marvin Bagley III, and …read more



Celtics Urged to Target Hometown Big Man in Trade

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