Having performed admirably during his half season with the Mavs and said all the right things to the media, Nerlens Noel is an excellent option to man the paint in Dallas for years to come. Unfortunately, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News explains, the restricted free agent will likely field significant offers from other teams this summer for those very same reasons.
In the last edition of his SportsDay series ranking notable available players, Sefko rounds up the five most appealing free agent options at the center position (he recently wrote about the top five power forwards and the top five small forwards). Noel, not surprisingly, is ranked No. 1 by Sefko, although Dewayne Dedmon, Greg Monroe, Nene Hilario and Tiago Splitter round out the list. The scribe adds that the athletic big man would work well in this era and could contribute to what the Mavericks are trying to accomplish.
In April, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News wrote about Noel’s time with the franchise since the trade deadline day deal that sent him from Philadelphia south. In it, Townsend quotes Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle saying that the available center has “got to get signed”.
“I’ve been impressed with him,” Carlisle added in the Townsend piece. “He’s a very likable guy. Guys in the locker room took to him. He’s an exciting young talent, and I do think he can expand his game.”
There’s more from the Mavs:
- Count veteran point guard Devin Harris among those who admire how the Warriors built their dynasty. Harris recently told the Dallas Morning News’ Eddie Sefko that the Mavs should look to draft wisely and hone their talent. Harris adds that building through free agency should be a secondary option considering that there is so much competition with other franchises.
- The Mavs have been busy working out possible draftees, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News tweets. On Thursday the team saw Zach Collins (projected to go No. 10 by NBADraft.net) and Lauri Markkanen (No. 11). Dallas holds the No. 9 pick in the June 22 NBA Draft.
- Hoops fans may have to wait a while for the next great NBA team to come and unseat the Warriors and there’s no reason to believe that, when it happens, it will be any less of a surprise than when Golden State rose to prominence by drafting Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in consecutive drafts. Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News writes that it may not be the Mavs who take the throne in 2020 but, then again, it could be anybody.