Atlanta Hawks: 8 Big Men Free Agents Hawks Should Sign

Julius Randle Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Julius Randle Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Nerlens Noel Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

Nerlens Noel

We have previously explored the cavalcade of reasons why signing Nerlens Noel makes sense for the Atlanta Hawks, and most of those reasons occur on the defensive end.

The Atlanta Hawks were dead last in the NBA in opponent points allowed per game (119.4 per Basketball Reference), so they definitely need some strong rim protection going forward.

Noel certainly has that pedigree, though he remains painfully thin (220 pounds) despite being 6-foot-11 4th-year NBA big man.

Despite a lack of size, Noel is still a brilliant shot-blocker at the center spot, as his 7.7 percent block rate would have been good enough for 2nd in the entire league behind Myles Turner had he played more minutes.

On that front, Noel played 1055 minutes this year for the Oklahoma City Thunder, which was his highest since his second year in the league in 2015-16 for the Philadelphia 76ers when he played a whopping 1965 minutes.

With the Atlanta Hawks, one would expect Noel would be able to play more as a rim protector since paint defense is what the team lacked the most.

Noel will have to decline his $1.9 million player option to sign with another team, so only time will tell if Noel makes that choice.