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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Mavericks could bring back Dirk Nowitzki-era player?

Dirk Nowitzki smiling

Nov 22, 2019; Dallas, TX, USA; Former Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki smiles to the crowd during the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One NBA player may soon gain the distinction of playing on the Dallas Mavericks with both Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic.

Ian Begley of SportsNet New York reported on Thursday that the Mavericks recently touched base with the Detroit Pistons on trade talks. In those trade talks, the name of veteran big man Nerlens Noel came up, Begley adds.

The 28-year-old Noel played in Dallas for two seasons from 2017 to 2018 and was teammates there with Nowitzki. But Noel left to sign with the OKC Thunder in the very same summer that Doncic arrived for the Mavericks.

This season for the rebuiliding Pistons, Noel has failed to carve out anything close to a consistent role, averaging a microscopic 1.8 points in 10.3 minutes per game over just six total appearances. But his energy, rim protection, and defensive versatility could still be a boon for a contender.

The 13-11 Mavericks are a slightly above-average defensive team this season, but that is largely thanks to their glut of lengthy wings. None of Dallas’ big men (Christian Wood, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, and a geriatric JaVale McGee) are great shot-blockers, and not a single Mavs player is averaging even 1.0 blocks per game this season.

Though Noel’s stint in Dallas was a bit embarrassing at times, the team would probably love to have him back for another hurrah.

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