Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel will be making about $13 million less than he reportedly could have this coming season.
Noel reportedly accepted the Mavericks’ $4.1 million qualifying offer on Saturday, less than two months after, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he turned down a four-year, $70 million offer at the onset of free agency on July 1.
Nerlens Noel clearly betting on himself with acceptance of $4.1M QO. He turned down 4-year, $70M Mavs offer made on July 1, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2017
In response, Noel reportedly asked for a max deal, which ended up backfiring.
Nerlens Noel asked Mavs for max. Offer was pulled soon thereafter, per sources. https://t.co/VVEOfhWkgt
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) August 26, 2017
Noel is clearly a firm believer in his own talents. We knew all along that he wanted a max deal, but that didn’t work out, and now he’s locked on a cheaper pact. A good season could get him closer to where he wants to be next summer.
Nerlens Noel may have priced himself out of his own market as it turns out.
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported on Wednesday that Noel turned down a deal in the range of $17.5 million per year.
Noel turned down a deal in the $17.5m per year range. Not sure changing agents changes the math on him. 10pts 7.5rebs as a career https://t.co/Q6gOCRJYwz
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) August 23, 2017
The 23-year-old big man still remains unsigned as a restricted free agent as we approach the two-month mark of free agency. We know that Noel is swinging for the fences based on this recent change in representation he made. But Noel simply has no leverage since cap space has evaporated around the league and the Dallas Mavericks can just match any offer sheet he is signed to. It seems the most likely scenario at this point is that the ex-No. 6 overall pick will be forced to settle for the one-year qualifying offer to return to Dallas.
Nerlens Noel has changed his representation as he seeks a max contract from the Dallas Mavericks.
Noel fired agent Happy Walters and reportedly has hired Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, according to Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto.
Nerlens Noel has hired agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports for representation, @BBallInsiders has learned.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) August 21, 2017
Paul is LeBron James’ agent.
Noel has a qualifying offer from the Mavericks, but he is seeking much more than the one year, $5.8 million he would make from that. However, Dallas seems to be content to see if Noel gets an offer elsewhere first. They have the opportunity to match if necessary, so from their perspective, it makes little sense to make a huge offer and bid against themselves.
Noel is clearly hoping a new agent can help him get more out of Dallas or some other team.
Nerlens Noel might be Dirk Nowitzki’s heir apparent as the next great Dallas Mavericks big man, and Nowitzki is a little dismayed that Noel has yet to reach a resolution with the team.
Speaking with Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News this week, The Big German commented on Noel’s contract stalemate with Dallas this summer.
“We’re looking forward to the future and the whole Noel situation is a little unfortunate I think,” said Nowitzki. “We traded for him to keep him for the long run. I’m not sure what the latest is there, but I’m hoping that things will work out and he’s coming back to the Mavs and we’d have a crew that at times can be very athletic — when I’m out of the game.”
The 23-year-old Noel, a restricted agent this offseason, remains unsigned over a month into free agency. Amidst clamors of unhappiness from Noel’s camp, the Mavs are beginning to have an ugly situation on their hands, and now even their franchise icon is turning up the heat.
Nerlens Noel isn’t pleased that his situation still has yet to be resolved nearly three weeks into free agency.
Noel’s agent Happy Walters voiced his client’s displeasure on Tuesday.
“We’re very disappointed with where things stand,” said Walters, per Eddie Sefko of SportsDay. “Nerlens loves Dallas and spent June there working out, but we’re still waiting on a serious offer.”
The 23-year-old Noel is a restricted free agent this summer. He averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game for the Mavs last season after being acquired at the trade deadline.
A young, athletic, defensively-savvy big man like Noel has core player written all over him, especially for a relatively old Dallas team (a sentiment they once appeared to share as well). Perhaps they are just waiting out the market, which has presumably been somewhat of a successful strategy with cap space having dried up around the league by now. But in doing so, the Mavs may have alienated Noel and created another set of problems for themselves.
Nerlens Noel is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and the 23-year-old big man will likely receive max contract offers from multiple teams. According to one report, that won’t matter to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs are likely going to match any offer to Noel, as Marc Stein is reporting that re-signing Noel is their No. 1 priority this offseason.
Re-signing Nerlens Noel, league sources say, is Dallas' offseason priority, far ahead of their long-anticipated interest in UFA Jrue Holiday
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 24, 2017
As Stein noted, there have been rumblings that the Mavericks are the favorite to land Jrue Holiday. However, they seem intent on making sure they take care of their own young core first.
Harrison Barnes, Nerlens Noel, Seth Curry and now Dennis Smith … sources say Dallas is focused on cementing and developing its young core
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 24, 2017
Dallas acquired Noel last season from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a protected first-round pick. The price seemed awfully low for a player with so much potential, though Noel played just 22.0 minutes per game and averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds. The Mavericks likely envision him having a much bigger role going forward.
Nerlens Noel may be about to become Nerlen$$$ Noel this offseason.
According to a report by Mike Fisher of Scout.com on Monday, “multiple” teams may be willing to sign the Dallas Mavericks impending restricted free agent big man to a max offer sheet. Fisher also adds that, assuming a $101 million cap for next season, a max for Noel could be worth up to $146.45 million over five years with a starting salary of $25.25 million.
Noel, 23, averaged 8.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 2016-17. He was dealt to Dallas from the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline.
While his counting stats may be modest, Noel is a transformative and versatile defensive presence who can blow up pick-and-rolls, switch onto guards above the arc, and protect the rim at a top-tier level. He still has a lot of time to improve offensively as well, and there’s an argument to be made that Noel could be worth the max given the bloated contracts that aging, below-average bigs like Timofey Mozgov, Ian Mahinmi, and Joakim Noah got last summer.
The Mavericks can obviously match any offer sheet that Noel is signed to. But with other free agent targets on the table and the fact that they acquired Noel for the measly cost of Justin Anderson and two second-rounders, it’s worth wondering how high Dallas may be willing to go to retain him.
Image via Nerlens Noel on Instagram