This comparison is more about what Nerlens Noel is capable of becoming as opposed to what he has already proven to be. When it comes to style of play, Nerlens Noel is focused on the rim. He is a rim protector on the defensive end, with a chance to become a premier shot blocker in the league, and he is a high flying finisher on offense. This is a reminder of a few players in the league.
Firstly, there is Tyson Chandler. This comparison shouldn’t be too surprising, as it has been brought up on numerous occasions that Noel could be the new Chandler (Tyson, not Parsons) in Dallas. Tyson Chandler is going into the 3rd year of his 4-year, $52 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. This contract was a bit insane considering it was signed when Chandler was 32, but in his prime, this contract would have been a steal for a player like Tyson.
Next comparison is one the Mavericks don’t want to make, but Noel has an obvious chance to be like DeAndre Jordan. Again, this comparison stems from the fact that Jordan is useless once he passes about 3-feet away from the rim, but inside that he is a beast. Hopefully Noel is a little better than that. Jordan is currently on a 4-year, $87 million contract with the Clippers.
Lastly, Noel could become somewhat of a Rudy Gobert if he decides to focus more on the defensive end. Although he will never be quite as big as Gobert is, the defensive potential is definitely there. All of these players have quite possibly hit the prime of their career at this point, and are a good showing of not only Noel’s potential, but what the Mavericks expect him to be very soon.
Expectations are not reality though.