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How the Mavs won the stalemate vs Nerlens Noel

How the Mavs won the stalemate vs Nerlens Noel

The Nerlens Noel two-month standoff with the Dallas Mavericks finally came to an end Saturday when Noel decided to accept the one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer to stay with the club that acquired him in a midseason trade last season.

An ESPN report came out last week claiming Nerlens Noel turned down a four-year, $70 million contract with the Mavericks. His former agent, Happy Walters, confirmed the report in a tweet after Noel switched agents just days before signing his free agent tender.

So, why did the process take so long?

There appeared to be little market for the 23 year-old Noel who was armed with incredible talent and potential, but lacked offers from other franchises after three injury-plagued season in the league.

Noel missed his entire 2013-14 rookie season while recovering from ACL surgery. During the 2016-17 season, Noel averaged just 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, playing in just 51 games. He’s missed 135 out of a 328 possible games since entering the league.

When the Mavs offered Noel $70 million, Noel reportedly countered with a request for the maximum allowable under the CBA. The Mavs ultimately pulled their offer.

Noel now has to settle with the $4.1 million, in a one-year “prove yourself” deal.

The Mavericks would like Noel to be a long-term piece, but the Mavericks had to protect themselves in a situation like this. Although the league has changed tremendously since the days of Eric Dampier, the Mavericks were smart to be cautious in signing a big man with a noticeable injury history.

The Mavericks gave away Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a protected first-round pick to get Noel, forfeiting valuable assets on a gamble that he would be a long-term piece for their franchise going forward. Now, Mark Cuban and company appear to be playing everything safe.

If Noel can improve on the 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks he averaged in 22 games with the Mavericks last season, the team may be more inclined to offer him a max contract.

The Mavericks won the stalemate., now, it’s Noel’s job to prove it next season, if he truly thinks he deserves it.


Podcast lead host and credentialed media member covering Dallas Cowboys, Texas Legends, and Dallas Mavericks | I am a proud fan of the Dallas Mavericks and have been one since the late 1990s when I was a kid. I'm 25 years old. I was born in Dallas but lived most of my life on the east coast. I lived 9 years in West Hartford Connecticut and 4 years right outside of New York City when I was in college at Hofstra University where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism with a Minor in Political Science. Although I lived most of my life on the east coast, my native Dallas routes never left me. Especially the native routes of the passion that I have for Dallas sports teams. I have so much passion for Dallas sports teams that I knew from the young age of 12 years old that I wanted to go into sports broadcasting just so I could cover my favorite sports teams. I love broadcasting because it gives me a platform to have a conversation!

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