Battle for the Ball

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel (3) battles under the basket with New Orleans Pelicans forward Julius Randle (30) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.

Oklahoma City was swept up in the fluidity of NBA free agency Sunday. 

After reports that Nerlens Noel and the OKC Thunder agreed on a deal that will bring him back this season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Noel reportedly requested more time to rethink the initial deal. The discussions are ongoing. 

The Thunder also agreed to terms with Los Angeles Lakers Center Mike Muscala, according to Wojnarowski. 

Terms were not disclosed on either deal. 

If OKC can keep Noel, it would bring back a defensive piece the team values. Muscala, who is a career 36 percent 3-point shooter, would add a long-range threat. 

Muscala averaged 7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists with the Lakers last season. 

Noel initially chose to become an unrestricted free agent, reportedly not picking up his $1.9 million 2019-20 player option. He averaged 4.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in about 12 minutes per last season.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound center is a needed piece defensively. Losing him would be a blow as the Thunder try to regain footing following back-to-back first-round playoff exits.

Noel's best season as a pro was 2015-16 when he averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. At 24 years old, he's entering his eightg=h season in the league. 

Several teams were reportedly interested in Noel once he put himself on the market. Free agents can sign deals beginning July 6.

OKC's navigating a wild free agency — there was major movement across the league as the period began Sunday — despite a bleak financial situation. The Thunder have nearly $147 million in guaranteed salary on the books for 2019-20 — more than $20 million over the luxury tax.