Nerlens Noel will regret turning down the Mavericks‘ four-year, $72MM offer this summer, states Newy Scruggs in a chat for The Dallas Morning News. Scruggs contends Noel is not viewed as a hard worker by the organization, which has lowered his standing with coach Rick Carlisle. Noel has slipped into a reserve role, starting just six of the 17 games he has played this season.
Noel was hoping for a maximum offer, either from the Mavs or another team, when he entered restricted free agency in July. But nothing in that neighborhood materialized and Noel opted to accept Dallas’ $4,187,598 qualifying offer and try his luck as an unrestricted free agent next year. Scruggs said he expects Noel to be traded before the February deadline.
There’s more NBA news from the Lone Star State:
- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters he has never seen an injury like the one that is keeping Kawhi Leonard out of action, relays Michael C. Wright of ESPN. Leonard is dealing with quadriceps tendinopathy, which has prevented him from taking the court all season, even in practice, and there’s still no definitive timetable for his return. Popovich had better news about Tony Parker, who also has a quadriceps injury that dates back to last season’s Western Conference semifinals. Parker has said he hopes to return in November, and it sounds like that may be possible. “For real, sooner than later,” Popovich said tonight. “And I’m serious. I’m being honest.”
- Leonard’s injury has created an opportunity for fourth-year swingman Kyle Anderson, who is getting serious minutes for the first time in his career. Anderson has started all 18 games, and Popovich plans to keep him in the rotation even when Leonard returns, tweets Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. “When Kawhi does come back, I’ve got some figuring out to do,” Popovich said. “[Anderson] should still be on the court, somehow or another.”
- After signing a two-way deal with the Rockets last month, Briante Weber is eager to make the most of his latest shot at the NBA, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Weber, the leading scorer for Houston’s G League affiliate in Rio Grande Valley, was called up to the Rockets today for the first time since joining the organization. He previously played for the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors and Hornets, but never spent more than 13 games with any of those teams. “I’ve been prepared,” Weber said. “It’s just about the opportunity. That’s all it’s about, me taking advantage of the opportunity when I get in. I’ve always been prepared. It’s just basketball.”