Chicago Bulls: 5 free agents to replace Robin Lopez

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls, Nerlens Noel
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Nerlens Noel – Player Option

There is a bit of a theme here. Like Okafor, Nerlens Noel was also headed to set the basketball world on fire as a youngster. Like Okafor, Noel was also taken in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers. And, like Okafor, Noel no longer plays for the Sixers and has had, by most accounts, a disappointing pro career.

Coming out of Kentucky, Noel was kind of a mystery. During his only season in college, Noel looked like he would be one of the next elite big men in the NBA, and it was mainly due to his dominance on the defensive end. With the Wildcats, he averaged a ridiculous 4.4 rebounds per game.

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Before his first and only college season ended back in 2013, Noel tore his ACL and saw his draft stock plummet. Still, he was a first-rounder and ended up sitting out his first season with Philadelphia. The following year, Noel played in 75 games, averaging over 30 minutes of game action.

Since his rookie season, though, his playing time has gone down and his effectiveness on the court has dwindled. The Bulls could take a flier on Noel as a cheap backup whom might offer a little help on the defensive end.