By accepting a $4.1MM qualifying offer, Mavericks center Nerlens Noel has created a financial drama that will last through the season, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. He decided to take the one-year deal after consulting with his new agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, whom Noel just hired this week. It was an unexpected end to negotiations for the third-year big man, who reportedly turned down a four-year, $70MM offer earlier this summer.
Noel is betting that he can get something close to the max as an unrestricted free agent next year, but Townsend notes that he is also taking a serious risk after missing the entire 2013/14 season after knee ligament surgery. He has played 75, 67 and 51 in the three seasons since then. By refusing the original offer, Noel cost himself about $11.5MM this season and will need a new deal starting at about $20MM to make up the difference.
- Noel’s decision gives the Mavericks about $12MM in unexpected cap space, according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN [insider account]. Only the Bulls and Sixers have more, although the Suns could surpass Dallas if Alex Len also accepts a qualifying offer. The Mavericks will be in position to help facilitate trades and acquire assets throughout the season. They may also benefit next summer from Noel’s small cap hold, which is estimated at about $8MM. Noel finished just one start short of the cutoff for “starter criteria,” which is 41 starts or 2,000 minutes in the previous season. His qualifying offer would have been $5.85MM if he had met that standard.
- The Grizzlies are willing to go above the $2.8MM qualifying offer to re-sign restricted free agent JaMychal Green, but won’t meet the price he wants, according to Chris Harrington of The Commercial Appeal. He adds that Tony Allen won’t be returning to Memphis, even after free agent addition Ben McLemore suffered a broken foot. Harrington thinks a return to Boston would be the best move for Allen.
- Memphis still has one two-way contract remaining, and Harrington advocates giving it to someone with professional experience rather than an undrafted rookie. His choice is 23-year-old Vince Hunter, a 6’8″ power forward who played with the Grizzlies’ summer league team and has experience in the G League and overseas.
- After re-signing with the Rockets this summer, veteran center Nene is eager to see new addition Chris Paul join James Harden in the backcourt, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype. “It will be an unbelievable experience to play with James and Chris,” he said. “James is the best offensive player in the game and Chris is an amazing ball player as well. They can score from anywhere on the court and they both have a basketball IQ that’s off the charts.”