Report: Celtics among six teams interested in Pistons' Nerlens Noel


Add another name to the list of potential Boston Celtics trade targets ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.

The Celtics are one of six teams that have called the Detroit Pistons to inquire about big man Nerlens Noel, The Athletic's James L. Edwards III reported Sunday. The Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings are the other known suitors, per Edwards.

Boston reportedly is in the market for a big man who could provide depth behind Robert Williams and Al Horford. The 6-foot-11 Noel fits that criteria, although he's only played in 13 games for the Pistons this season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds over just 11.4 minutes per game in those contests.

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Still, the Malden, Mass., native is a capable lob threat and strong interior defender -- he averaged 2.2 blocks per game with the New York Knicks in 2020-21 -- who at least could play give the Celtics about 15 minutes per night to spell Williams and Horford.

The C's likely wouldn't have to part with many assets to acquire Noel, either. The only complication involves his contract: The 28-year-old is making $9.2 million on the final year of his deal, so Boston would have to part with Danilo Gallinari and his $6.5 million salary to bring in Noel.

The better option for the Celtics is if the Pistons buy out Noel's contract after the trade deadline, allowing Boston to sign him at the veteran minimum.

If a Noel deal doesn't come to fruition, the C's apparently have other irons in the fire, as they've reportedly shown interest in reuniting with Utah Jazz big man Kelly Olynyk and potentially trading for San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl.

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