Like the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks have not found much luck during free agency over the past few years. They have been unable to lure a premiere talent to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki during his final seasons though they have added some nice pieces to transition into the new era of Mavericks basketball that include Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes.
At the trade deadline last season Dallas was able to swing a trade for former Philadelphia 76ers center, Nerlens Noel, to solidify their frontcourt. A quick, athletic defensive playmaker, Noel was an excellent fit in Dallas.
Noel is set to become a restricted free agent this summer so Dallas can match any offer he receives, and he might be getting some big ones. According to Mike Fisher of Scout.com, multiple teams are willing to offer a max contract for his services this summer:
“A source from another NBA team (not the Mavs) tells me that there will be “multiple” clubs willing to pay Noel his max once he hits the restricted-free-agent market on July 1.”
The Mavericks can offer Noel a contract worth up to $146 million dollars over five years, which would make his annual salary around $25 million dollars. Head coach Rick Carlisle has stated that retaining Noel is a “priority”, but the the concern is whether he is worth all that money.
He has career averages of 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Those stats do not scream for a max contract, but finding big men who can protect the paint and switch on to guards on the perimeter are hard to come by.
If the Mavericks do not end up re-signing Noel, he can earn up around $108 million dollars with another team. He is only 23 years old so he definitely has time to develop his skills, especially on the offensive end, and turn into a solid all-around player. If Noel is able to command a max-contract, it speaks volumes about how much centers are valued in today’s NBA.