Nerlens Noel vs Khem Birch: Who should the Toronto Raptors sign?


The Toronto Raptors will hope that USC heart Evan Mobley falls to them within the 2021 NBA Draft with the intention to repair their points at heart, however they should get a contingency plan lined up. Re-signing native Canadian Khem Birch makes a ton of sense, whereas making a play for New York Knicks huge Nerlens Noel is also a fruitful endeavor.

Whereas Birch proved that he is usually a far more productive offensive participant than he was allowed to be in Orlando, Noel confirmed that he is among the finer shot-blockers within the league, making his stamp on a revitalized Knicks workforce by having the ability to fend off anybody who dared to problem him within the paint.

The Raptors’ lack of manufacturing at heart final yr was completely killer for the success of the workforce, and each Noel and Birch could possibly be low-cost alternate options that assist fill an enormous gap on this roster. Nonetheless, bringing them each on isn’t taking place.

The Raptors, ought to they miss out on Mobley, have to resolve if Birch’s paint scoring or Noel’s defensive capability can be a greater match on this roster.

Would Khem Birch give the Toronto Raptors extra worth than Nerlens Noel?

On offense, Birch has an enormous edge in each conventional and superior stats. Birch averaged 11.9 factors and seven.6 rebounds per recreation with Toronto, which blows away the 5.4 factors and 6.8 rebounds Noel averaged after Mitchell Robinson went down.

Cleansing The Glass (subscription required) exhibits that the Raptors had been 8.5 factors per 100 possessions higher on offense when Birch was on the ground as in comparison with when he’s off.

Birch has additionally developed slightly little bit of a fringe recreation. 29% on just below two makes an attempt per recreation isn’t a lot, but it surely’s one thing. Noel, in the meantime, is a non-factor exterior of the paint.

Noel is a greater defensive participant than Birch, as he’s the one participant within the league to have averaged two blocks and one steal per recreation final yr. Nonetheless, he may not be the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon in comparison with Birch, as superior stats present that his uncooked field rating numbers don’t essentially translate to elite manufacturing.

Cleansing the Glass exhibits that the Knicks really gave up 3.7 factors MORE per 100 possessions on protection when Noel was on the ground, the very same quantity Birch had with Toronto. Whereas he is among the extra versatile defensive bigs within the recreation, his worth may be a bit overstated, and if his protection has misplaced luster, choosing Birch over him turns into the clear selection.

The Raptors ending up with Noel can be a strong transfer, as he can safe the rim and end some straightforward pictures within the restricted space. Nonetheless, Birch gives sufficient protection to again up his capability to maneuver within the paint, and his nonetheless bettering offensive recreation ought to give the Raptors confidence he is usually a contributor for years to return.


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