Noah Vonleh: A Rim-Runner With A Dominant Presence On The Boards
A large reason why Noah Vonleh was ultimately selected as a top-10 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft was because of his physical tools. He’s a solid 6’10” and 240 pounds, while also owning a 7’4″ wingspan.
Vonleh was a raw prospect who led the Big Ten in rebounding in his only season in college—an impressive feat for a freshman.
His knack for rebounding the basketball has not subsided in the NBA. At first glance, his career average of 4.7 rebounds per game is underwhelming. These rebounds, however, have come in only 15.5 minutes of playing time per game.
His numbers show that with the increase in minutes that should come to him in New York, he could establish himself as a rebounding presence with Kristaps Porzingis sidelined for a good chunk of the year.
Per 36 minutes, Noah Vonleh has averaged 9.6 points and 11.0 rebounds during his time in the Association. He could very well be the primary rebounding presence when Enes Kanter is not on the floor this coming year.
Vonleh’s physical tools also give him potential as rim-runner. The former Indiana Hoosier is a smooth athlete who moves his feet well. This could suit him well for the up-tempo, positionless style of basketball that New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale is attempting to implement.
His agility could give him flexibility as a defender that can switch on pick-and-rolls around the perimeter as well.
Knicks fans should hope that Vonleh can reach his potential as a rebounding savant and an agile big-man that can both run the floor and guard around the perimeter now that he’s on a team that places more of an emphasis on development rather than winning games.
Vonleh has spent a majority of his NBA tenure with the Portland Trail Blazers—a team that was more focused on building a playoff contender than developing their young players.
Vonleh’s ceiling is limited, however. Although he had success shooting from three in college, his offensive game hasn’t been consistent from anywhere other than near the hoop in the NBA.
He also isn’t the rim-protector that he should be in the paint, as he’s only averaged 0.3 blocks per game to this point in his career.
Vonleh’s upside tops out as a guy who can average 10-to-12 points and 10 rebounds a few years down the road. That’s not a bad player to be.