Nerlens Noel: Injuries, Net Worth & NBA

Nerlens Noel is a young professional basketball player from the United States. He currently plays as a center for the NBA’s New York Knicks club.

Noel entered the NBA when the New Orleans Pelicans picked him in the 2013 draft. However, he made a league debut with another club, the Philadelphia 76ers.

Before beginning his professional career, he played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.

While there, he received nearly a half dozen honors for his performance, even though his stay with them was very brief.

Nerlens Noel with the Oklahoma City Thunders (Source: Bleacher Report)
Nerlens Noel with the Oklahoma City Thunders (Source: Bleacher Report)

The Knicks center knows his job very well on the court and has high efficiency in making rebounds. Moreover, Noel can easily score points from close-range shots whenever the team needs them.

Considered the top performer since his early basketball days, he has already established himself as one of the notable centers in the NBA. 

However, the frequent injuries in recent years have worn him down. As a result, his overall game in the past few seasons has not entirely been up to the mark. 

Stay with us till the end of this article and discover more exciting stuff about this talented young basketball player. But before getting into the details, let’s check out some quick facts.

Quick Facts

Full NameNerlens Noel
Date of BirthApril 10, 1994
Birth PlaceMalden, Massachusetts, USA
Nick NameThe Nerlen Wall
Zodiac Sign Aries
Age28 years old
Height2.11 m (6 feet 11 inches)
Weight220 lb (100 kg)
Hair ColorBlack
Eye ColorBlack
Father’s NameYonel Noel
Mother’s NameDorcina Noel
SiblingsRodman, Jim, and Nashdah Noel
Food HabitNon-vegetarian
  • Everett High School (Everett, Massachusetts)
  • Tilton School (Tilton, New Hampshire)
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)
Marital StatusUnmarried
Sexual OrientationStraight
Girlfriend None
KidsA son (Name – unknown)
Salary$8.8 million
Profession Basketball player
NBA Draft2013 / Round: 1 / 6th pick overall
League National Basketball Association (NBA)
Active Years(2013 – Present)
Net Worth$13 million
Currently Plays ForNew York Knicks
Jersey Number3
Social Media Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
MerchTrading Card, Notebook
Last UpdateDecember 2022

Nerlens Noel | Early Life & Family

Nerlens Noel was born on April 10, 1994, in Malden, Massachusetts, United States. He is the third child of his parents, Yonel and Dorcina Noel.

Both his parents are initially from Haiti, and they had migrated to the US in 1990. All his siblings except his eldest brother, Jim, were born in the United States.

Life for them as an immigrant family was not easy in the strange land. Luckily, Yonel was a taxi driver, so he initially used to drive cabs and worked at a cafeteria to support his family. 

However, Noel’s father became more abusive and started caring less for his family, which his mother could not stand. Eventually, their relationship turned sour, and the children became estranged from him.

Noel and his mother Dorcina (Source: Celebrities InfoSeeMedia)
Noel and his mother, Dorcina (Source: Celebrities InfoSeeMedia)

Dorcina was trained as a nurse, so she used to work as a caregiver at various living facilities in Boston. She was a hard-working lady and used to work double shifts to support her children.

Fortunately, all her children were well-disciplined and his two elder brothers, Jim and Rodman, took care of the little siblings. They used to do household chores regularly when she was not around.

Noel first learned to love playing sports from his brothers. However, his brothers loved football more than any other sport. So, Noel, too, played football with them. 

However, he grew taller and chose basketball for his career over time. Both his brothers played football for their college teams.

Likewise, his younger sister played basketball for Tabor Academy in Massachusetts.

Noel gives all the credit to his mother for raising them with a good education. An essential thing he learned from her was a strong work ethic. He thinks every athlete compulsorily needs it to have a successful career.

Nerlens Noel | Career

High School Career

Noel played high school basketball for two different schools as his family had to move from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

He initially studied at Everett High School and played two seasons of high school basketball for its team.

Moreover, he played football as well in his first year. However, he grew up much tall as a sophomore, so he left playing football entirely and decided to make a career in basketball.

Noel then attended the Tilton School in North Hampshire and played exceptionally well. Although he was to finish high school in 2013, he was reclassified as the 2012 class and completed a year earlier.

He finished his senior season with an average of 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Various sports magazines, including The New York Times, declared him one of the best basketball players of his generation.

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College Career

The high-rated recruit, Nerlens, had received scholarship offers from various elite institutions, but he eventually opted to join the University of Kentucky for his college career.

His game with the Wildcats would have been much better if he had not suffered a knee injury during a match against the Florida Gators.

He played only 24 matches in which he averaged 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocks per game.

Nerlens decided to forgo his college career after his first season and declared for the NBA draft in 2013. However, he had not fully recovered from his injury at that time.

Professional Career

Beginning of the NBA Career with Injury

The New Orleans Pelicans chose him as the 2013 NBA draft’s first-round 6th pick. However, they soon traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday.

Noel signed a contract with the 76ers on September 24, 2013, to play with them from the 2013-14 season, but his knee injury got worse, and instead had to undergo surgery.

As a result, he missed the whole season. However, he recovered before the next season started and even appeared for them in the 2014 NBA Summer League.

Even though Noel was beaten down by a lengthy injury, he had a promising rookie season in which he averaged 9.9 points and 8.1 rebounds. Consequently, the NBA included him in the All-Rookie First Team in 2015.

Nerlens with the Philadelphia 76ers
Nerlens with the Philadelphia 76ers (Source: Hoops Rumors)

His second NBA season was his career-best, as he finished the season with an average of 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. However, he suffered another knee injury at the end of the season.

Furthermore, he played 29 matches for the 76ers in the 2016-21 season before trading him to the Dallas Mavericks on February 23, 2017.

Stressful Later Seasons

Nerlens played for the Mavericks the 76ers traded mid-season, and he had some relief appearing again on the court after recovering from an ankle sprain that he had suffered while still with the 76ers.

He showed some signs of improvement averaging 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game playing 22 matches that season.

Noel was having a great time with Dallas in his next season with them until he suffered another injury. This time he tore a ligament in his left thumb, which required surgery for recovery.

Moreover, the NBA suspended him for five matches for violating the terms of the Anti-Drug Program that same season.

He then appeared in two seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunders until they traded him to the New York Knicks in 2020. He is still with the Knicks but has only appeared in around 25 matches due to injury in the ongoing 2021-22 season.

Awards & Achievements

Some of his awards and achievements include:

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2015)
  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2013)
  • SEC Rookie of the Year (2013)
  • First-team All-SEC (2013)
  • SEC All-Defensive Team (2013)
  • First-team Parade All-American (2012)
  • SEC All-Freshman Team (2013)

Net Worth & Earnings

According to sources, Nerlens Noel has a net worth of around $13 million.

His primary source of income is the NBA league games. There is always a considerable pay gap between the one picked up in the initial round and the other selected later in the draft.

Even though Noel was not the first pick, he was one of the top picks, so the NBA experts had presumed that he would make a lot of money from the NBA.

However, the frequent injuries ruined everything, and his salary has not increased as much as he had expected. His annual salary for the 2021-22 season is around $8.8 million.

At the start of his career, he had signed a four-year contract worth nearly $14.5 million with the Philadelphia 76ers. The club had paid him around $3.3 million for his rookie season.

He has already appeared for three different NBA clubs since the 76ers and has accumulated approximately $27 million from his NBA career to date.

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Filing a Lawsuit Against the Agent Rich Paul

Nerlens Noel filed a complaint against the prominent NBA agent Rich Paul in 2021. According to Noel, Paul deliberately caused him to lose a four-year contract worth $70 million with the Dallas Mavericks back in 2017.

He would have made a guaranteed earning of around $58 million with that signing.

However, Paul, who was close to Noel, advised him otherwise and made him sign a one-year contract worth $4.1 million with the same club.

Following that episode, Noel never received contracts worth such large amounts, so he had to settle for minimal contracts with different clubs.

Moreover, Rich ended the relationship with Noel later, which supposedly fueled his anger, and eventually, he decided to take the matter to court after four years of the incident.

Nerlens Noel | Personal Life

Nerlens is currently single and is not dating anyone. However, he was previously in a relationship with a girl named Jordan “Jamie” Walsh.

Noel likes to keep his private life secret, but, unfortunately, his connection to the Walsh became public in the worst possible way.

He was trying hard to get his games right after a long injury when Jamie filed a complaint against him in court in 2014.

Jordan Walsh (Source:
Jordan Walsh (Source:

Walsh, who had a fourteen-month-old child at that time, claimed that it was Noel’s son and he was not supporting her financially to raise him. He initially denied that the child was his, but the DNA test later confirmed that he was the father.

So, eventually, the court instructed Noel to pay for the child support.

Apart from that, there was a rumor that he was dating a Canadian model named Suzie. He had reportedly told about her to his Philadelphia 76ers teammates Jahlil Okafor and TJ McConnell in 2016.

However, he never introduced her to any of his teammates personally. 

Sued for Rental Home Damages

Nerlens Noel was all over the media in 2016 for the wrong reason. The owners of the house in which Noel was living filed a lawsuit against him for damaging their property.

According to them, he had inflicted multiple damages to their house, including breaking an elevator and damaging other home items. Moreover, he was accused of possessing weed in the house.

The owners had initially demanded around $42k for reparation, but they increased the amount to more than $75k later.  

Social Media Presence

Instagram: @nerlensnoel3

Twitter: @NerlensNoel3

Facebook: Nerlens Noel

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Nerlens Noel | External Features

As of 2022, Nerlens is 28 years old.

About his physical stats, he stands 2.11 meters (6 feet 11 inches) tall and weighs around 220 lb (100 kg).

Moreover, he is fond of tattoos and has inked them on his arms. He had those tattoos on him before he debuted in the NBA. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Nerlens Noel get his name?

Nerlens Noel got his name from his mother. When he was born, she thought any name starting with the letter “N” would suit well with their surname, Noel, so she came up with the random name, Nerlens, for her youngest son.

Is Nerlens Noel Haitian?

No, Nerlens Noel is not Haitian. He is an American citizen but has a connection to Haiti as both of his parents were originally from Haiti.

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