Noah Vonleh is next up in our season grade series for the 2019-20 season and a lot of what he did this year did not actually occur in a Nuggets uniform. Vonleh was traded to the Nuggets in the deal that sent Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, and Jarred Vanderbilt to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets returned in the deal: Vonleh, Shabazz Napier, Keita Bates-Diop, Gerald Green, and a first-round pick from Houston.
Only two of those players remain on the Nuggets — Vonleh and Diop — with the former being the discussion of this player series. With Vonleh, the Nuggets acquired a big man who has yet to find his place in the NBA. At just 24 years old, Vonleh has already played for six different NBA teams since being drafted ninth overall in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Vonleh’s most successful season came in 2018-19 when he played with the New York Knicks. In 68 games, Vonleh started 57 of them and averaged 8.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. Fast forward to this season and Vonleh put together an up and down year in a Timberwolves uniform.
In just 29 games with the T-Wolves, Vonleh averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Those numbers certainly are not eye popping, but the Nuggets obviously see some potential in Vonleh. If you remember correctly, Denver was only tied to one player at last years trade deadline and that was you guessed it, Vonleh.
The Nuggets also gave Vonleh some minutes in his short stint with the team as he played in four games before everything was halted due to COVID-19. In just 4.3 minutes a game, Vonleh averaged two points and 1.8 rebounds with his best performance coming in a February loss to the Lakers.
Season Grade: A
Vonleh did nothing wrong in his short stint with the Nuggets and I just like the guy. I imagine it would be tough to be in Vonleh’s position where you are so young, but still struggling to find that one team that really believes in you.
Is Denver that spot? Probably not as they really have no use for Vonleh moving forward. That could change if the Nuggets decide to move on from Mason Plumlee this offseason, which is something I don’t really envision happening or do I think should happen.
Say they do move on from Plumlee though, then Vonleh could be a player they look to bring back on a cheap deal that provides them some backup minutes at center. Do not forget about Bol Bol though, who should almost certainly be in the Nuggets future plans as well.
What’s next for Noah Vonleh?
I just hope that Vonleh can find his spot in the league. Whether that is with the Nuggets or not remains to be seen, but Vonleh is not a bad player and someone is going to take a chance on the guy. Vonleh has all the traits to be successful, he just has to put them together, which is something he has shown at times in he past.