Restricted free agent Nerlens Noel turned down an offer from the Mavericks in the range of $17.5MM per year, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. With no further details on that offer, it’s hard to know exactly how appealing it was — it could have been a short-term deal, or not fully guaranteed. Still, it seems like a very fair annual rate for Noel.
The 23-year old big man remains one of the top players left on the market as training camps near. Noel still hopes to land a max contract, even though few teams have the financial resources available to make such an offer.
He recently changed agents, hiring Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who lists LeBron James and John Wall among his highest-profile clients. Noel has been frustrated at not receiving offers from any other organizations. He still has the option to accept a $4,187,598 qualifying offer from the Mavericks and take his chances as an unrestricted free agent next season. Noel averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22 games with Dallas after a deadline trade brought him from the 76ers.
There’s more today out of Dallas:
- Halfway through the four-year, $70MM deal he signed with the Mavericks in 2015, Wesley Matthews is adopting some new training techniques to improve his game, writes Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Matthews has been doing yoga this summer and trying to improve his conditioning in hopes of raising his shooting percentage in 2017/18. “I want to be the most complete basketball player that I can be, and with the shooting slump that I had there were still ways that I had to be effective on the court,” he said. “You know, energy, leadership and defense, that’s always going to be a part of it. But being able to get other guys shots and get other guys open, I take pride in that as well.” Matthews has shot 39% overall and 36% from 3-point range during his two seasons in Dallas, well below the numbers he put up in Portland. He could be a year away from free agency, as he has a player option on his $18,622,514 salary for 2018/19.
- Owner Mark Cuban worries that it might be a “curse” or “jinx” that Dennis Smith Jr. is considered an early favorite for Rookie of the Year, but he raved about the No. 9 draft pick in a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. In a segment transcribed by The Dallas Morning News, Cuban says Smith’s ability goes beyond his obvious athleticism. “I mean his ball handling, his intellect for the game, he’s already on Synergy Sports watching great point guards [and] learning from them,” Cuban said. “He’s committed to getting better every day. He’s just got that mindset of a winner.”
- In the same interview, Cuban says the NBA’s new scheduling policy goes “90% of the way” toward solving the problem of teams resting healthy players, and adds that he would never tell coach Rick Carlisle to keep a player out of action.