Nerlens Noel Signs Qualifying Offer, Returning to Mavs

Nerlens Noel has signed a one-year, $4.2MM qualifying offer to return to the Mavericks, Chris Haynes of ESPN tweets. Having failed to find a long-term off he liked in restricted free agency, the big man is now on track to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.Nerlens Noel vertical

On Wednesday, it was reported that Noel turned down a Mavs offer in the range of $17.5MM per year. Haynes suggests that Noel’s reported $17MM+ offer was non-existent in any form, but Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets that, according to sources, the RFA did turn down a four-year, $70MM offer made on July 1. Tim McMahon of ESPN clarifies (link via Twitter) that Noel asked the Mavs for a max contract and then the four-year offer was pulled soon thereafter.

Noel appeared in 22 games for the Mavs after being traded from the 76ers, starting 12 of them and playing 22.0 MPG. In his three-season NBA career, the Kentucky product is averaging 10.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.5 BPG. Although he’s mainly known for his defensive prowess, Noel’s career FG% is 51.1%.

While Noel accepting a one-year deal worth $4.188MM is somewhat surprising, there simply weren’t many teams left with cap room this year that could have given him a realistic offer sheet — currently, no club has more cap room than the Sixers, who weren’t about to make a bid to bring back the former lottery pick.

Earlier this week, on August 21, Noel switched agents from Happy Walters to Rich Paul. Paul didn’t have much to do for Noel this summer, but he’ll be tasked with negotiating the young center’s next deal in 2018.

Noel will have more freedom when he reaches the open market next season, though he won’t necessarily be guaranteed a massive payday — cap space isn’t expected to be quite as abundant around the NBA in 2018 as it has been the last two summers.

Having accepted his qualifying offer, Noel now must consent to any trade if the Mavs look to deal him this year. If he agrees to be traded, he would surrender his Bird rights, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (link via Twitter).

With today’s signing, Noel becomes the first restricted free agent to sign a qualifying offer since 2015 when Norris Cole and Matthew Dellavedova both did so. Greg Monroe is the most notable restricted free agent to sign a qualifying offer in recent years, having done so in 2014. Four 2017 RFAs now remain unsigned: Mason Plumlee (Nuggets), Nikola Mirotic (Bulls), JaMychal Green (Grizzlies), and Alex Len (Suns).

Luke Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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13 thoughts on “Nerlens Noel Signs Qualifying Offer, Returning to Mavs

  1. Dionis

    Good move Mavericks, if he doesn’t at least put up 11 rebounds and 3 bpg don’t sign him long term.

    • yoyo137

      You do know that Rudy Gobert averaged the most BPG last season at 2.6 right? So Nerlens Noel has to average more blocks than the best rim protector in the league to deserve a max deal apparently

      • mcmillankmm

        To deserve a max deal? Yes, he would. Noel has no business receiving a max deal.

        • yoyo137

          This isn’t about Noel deserving a max deal or not it’s about nobody is gonna post 11 rebounds and 3 blocks a night lol

    • Grant
      Grant

      Lol those numbers were only put up by a handful of players last year. You are basically saying if he isn’t a top 5 center he doesn’t belong on the team long term

    • MinnyBorn

      11 and 3?! Do you realize how unusual that would be?

      Only three players have averaged 3 bpg over the last 10 seasons; Ibaka, Whiteside and Camby.

      Over those same 10 seasons, never have more the nine players averaged 11 rbs/g and one year only 3 averaged over 11.

      If Noel averages 11 and 3, some other team will offer the max and Dallas will lose him by not signing him long term this offseason.

  2. Z-A

    Whomever is in his ear failed him. Needed a reality check. When people know you’re immature they aren’t going to invest in you big. Too much off court in Philly between tardiness, messing up his rental, it working on a mid range game. You can only rely on athleticism so much, otherwise you’ll flame out in this league.

    • CursedRangers

      You are spot on. Not to discount making it to the NBA, but he has to turn it up another notch if he wants to hit it big. Turning down $70M is insane, considering his history with injuries. The money is going to be much tighter in the NBA for mid-tier players due to the cap situation. The other thing to consider is there are 4 other bigs that still haven’t been signed with very similar numbers to Noel. The NBA just doesn’t place a ton of value on centers anymore.

  3. rxbrgr

    Hey Luke, how is it that his qualifying offer was less than his previous year’s salary? I thought that rookie scale deals always had QO’s of a greater amount than the fourth season…

  4. justinkm19

    No matter what he does this year he will no longer be a Mav. The bridge appears to be burned.

  5. I think the Mavs screwed the pooch here, unless health was still an issue. Yet, since they made a great deal to get him, giving up very little; so they can probably recoup that in a trade (yes, there are few obstacles, but ..). Still, why invest at all in him, see him do really well after the trade, and not sign him. Even max at the 4 year level for a young ascending player like this isn’t a big deal for a rebuilding team where they don’t need their cap space for vet FAs.

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