- The Mavericks were ecstatic with their first look at Nerlens Noel, who was acquired Thursday in a trade with the Sixers, relays Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Noel, who hasn’t practiced yet with his new team, came off the bench Saturday with nine points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Dallas views the 22-year-old center as one of its building blocks, even though he will probably be used in a reserve role for the rest of the season. “Noel’s going to be the starting center here,” Carlisle said about Noel’s future role. “I do think he’ll get some starts this year. I just can’t tell you when or how frequently or exactly how it’s going to go. That’s the truth.”
FEBRUARY 24: The Mavericks are expected to sign Quinn Cook to a 10-day contract, Chris Reichert of The Step Back reports. The development was foreshadowed by Eddie Sefko of Dallas News, who reported that Cook was on a list of possible 10-day contract candidates.
Cook, 23, has yet to make his NBA debut but excelled with the Canton Charge this season- averaging 26.1 points on 47.7% shooting through 35 games. The former Blue Devil signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pelicans entering training camp, and was waived in October despite an impressive preseason.
It remains to be seen when Dallas will formally announce the signing.
FEBRUARY 26: The signing is official, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com.
FEBRUARY 24: The Mavericks have signed Ben Bentil to a 10-day contract, according to Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Bentil, 21, had recently rejoined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League after playing 11 games in China.
According to Stein, Dallas plans to have completed deals with Bentil and Quinn Cook by Sunday. Bentil, who can fill in at the 3 or 4, was selected over fellow D-League standouts Manny Harris and Pierre Jackson (Twitter links). Jackson had already signed two 10-day contracts with Dallas this year, and would have needed to be signed through the season.
This has been the second contract agreement with a D-League player today for Dallas, as the team also struck a deal with Cook to a 10-day contract this afternoon.
Many expected the Sixers to trade a big man at the deadline and Jahlil Okafor was the top candidate to be moved. Nothing materialized with Okafor and opposing teams, but Philadelphia was able to move toward having a balanced roster by trading Nerlens Noel to the Mavericks.
The team will get Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut (who is a buyout candidate) and a 2017 protected first-round pick in exchange for the former No. 6 overall pick. The first-rounder is top-18 protected and if not conveyed this year, the Sixers will instead receive two second-round picks. As our Reverse Standings indicate, Dallas would have to put together an incredible stretch of wins in order for to end up as a team with a top-12 record, so it’s unlikely that the pick conveys this offseason.
The Sixers could have held onto Noel, but it would have meant paying him a lucrative contract in restricted free agency or losing him for nothing. Philadelphia has no cap issues now, but GM Bryan Colangelo doesn’t want to start accumulating expensive assets, especially when he understands how much the market for centers has tanked. Everyone knew the Sixers had to make a trade. It hurt their centers’ trade values and having Noel on a long-term, more expensive contract wouldn’t have helped to increase the demand.
Dallas gets a center who complements Dirk Nowitzki and will make a nice long-term on-court partner for Harrison Barnes. The Mavs will have to hand him a pricey contract in the offseason and I speculate that it will be a deal in the $16-$18 per year range. That’s overpaying for what Noel is right now, but it may be an appropriate value for what he can become during the length of a four-year deal. He has the quickness and the defensive prowess to become one of the top rim protectors in the league and the Mavs should be taking chances on players who are just entering their primes.
From the Sixer perspective, it’s easy to get frustrated. More future second-round picks? Another project player? Why did the team oust Sam Hinkie if it was going to continue to use his strategy? Valid concerns, but the team isn’t ready to compete and there wasn’t a reasonable Noel deal that was going to put them in that position, especially with the latest Ben Simmons news.
So our question to readers is how do you feel about the trade from either side? Do you believe Dallas got the better end of the deal or do you think both sides improved? Please take to the comments section to give us your input on this subject. We look forward to hearing your opinion.
After acquiring Nerlens Noel from the Sixers on Thursday, Donnie Nelson repeatedly compared the young center to a former Dallas big man, suggesting that Noel has a lot in common with Tyson Chandler. Acknowledging that Andrew Bogut never really meshed well with the Mavericks‘ system and roster, Nelson expressed optimism about how Noel will fit, referring to the former Sixer as a “Tyson starter kit,” as Adam Grosbard of The Dallas Morning News writes.
“He gives us an element we haven’t had here since Tyson Chandler,” the Mavericks GM said. “Shot blocking, rebounding, energy, big steals guy as well. He’s able to get out in the court and guard the pick and roll, which is a big asset these days, to be able to keep the smaller guy in front of you. So it gives us a dimension that we haven’t had here in a long time so we’re really more than ecstatic and excited about him.”
Head coach Rick Carlisle was bullish on the acquisition as well, telling reporters that the Mavericks like Noel “a lot” and had been talking all season to the Sixers about a trade (Twitter link via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com).
There were no superstars on the move on Thursday, but NBA teams made eight trades, and there were many more signings and cuts completed once the deadline passed. In the wake of the deadline, we’ll take a look at a few roster- and cap-related notes, rounding up the new traded player exceptions that teams created on Thursday, as well as examining which teams still have space available on their rosters.
Let’s dive in…
New trade exceptions:
Several over-the-cap teams acquired new trade exceptions on Thursday. They’ll all expire on February 23, 2018, a year after they were created, or until they’re used or renounced by the teams below. If a club wants to use cap room, it must renounce its trade exceptions, but until then, these TPEs can be used in the summer or next season to acquire players.
Here’s the breakdown, in order of TPE value:
- Dallas Mavericks: $6,642,537
- Chicago Bulls: $5,462,000
- Milwaukee Bucks: $5,000,000
- Atlanta Hawks: $3,333,334
- Houston Rockets: $3,333,333
- Dallas Mavericks: $1,514,160
- Houston Rockets: $612,172
- Toronto Raptors: $328,000
- Houston Rockets: $233,880
Some notes related to these TPEs:
- Multiple teams on this list, including the Rockets and Bucks, could open up cap room by renouncing their trade exceptions. In Houston’s case, this is particularly notable, since the club would create more than $3.5MM in cap space by renouncing these TPEs. That cap room could come in handy very soon if the Rockets are trying to entice a free agent to sign with them instead of another contender that can only offer the minimum.
- As is always the case with TPEs, some of these exceptions will be more useful than others. The Mavericks could end up doing something interesting with their $6.6MM+ TPE, but the Raptors will almost certainly never use theirs for $328K.
- The Thunder also came out of Thursday’s action with a new TPE — sort of. Oklahoma City had created a trade exception worth $7.4MM on November 1 when the team sent Ersan Ilyasova to Philadelphia. The Thunder used a portion of that exception at the deadline to absorb Doug McDermott‘s salary, leaving approximately $4.94MM left on it. OKC will have until November 1 to use the rest of that TPE.
- For the complete list of trade exceptions across the NBA, click here.
Teams with open roster spots:
A day after the trade deadline, the list of teams with open roster spots is incredibly fluid. Some teams that acquired players in trades don’t have any use for those players, and will waive them. Other clubs will fill roster holes with D-League call-ups, while other teams will be a little more patient and wait out the buyout market.
All of this is to say that this list is up to date at the time of publication, but could change quickly as teams make more moves this weekend. Here are the teams that currently have at least one open spot on their 15-man roster, with their player count noted in parentheses:
- Charlotte Hornets (13): The 10-day contracts for Ray McCallum and Mike Tobey expired overnight, so Charlotte has two open spots. The team reportedly plans to use one on Johnny O’Bryant.
- Cleveland Cavaliers (14): The Cavs have 13 guaranteed contracts, plus Derrick Williams‘ 10-day deal. The team expects to sign Deron Williams as well, so if any other roster additions are coming after that, Cleveland would need to clear a roster spot.
- Dallas Mavericks (13): The Mavs have two openings after completing a two-for-one trade with the Sixers, then waiving Deron Williams.
- Houston Rockets (14): The Rockets opened up a roster spot by trading K.J. McDaniels, and may waive Marcelo Huertas as well. Houston is expected to be active on the buyout market.
- Milwaukee Bucks (14): The Bucks created a roster opening by sending Roy Hibbert to Denver, and they’re expected to fill it by signing Axel Toupane to a 10-day contract.
- Minnesota Timberwolves (14): Unlike most of the teams on this list, the Wolves have carried an open roster spot for a while, and that didn’t change at the deadline.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (14): The Thunder traded three players to Chicago and received just two in return, creating an opening. They have their eye on free agents and buyout candidates.
- Orlando Magic (14): Like Minnesota, the Magic were carrying an open roster spot prior to the deadline and didn’t make a move on Thursday.
The Suns will join this list as soon as they officially waive Mike Scott and Jared Sullinger, as is expected. They’ll fill one of those two newly-open spots with Ronnie Price. There are also three teams that have full 15-man rosters with at least one player on a 10-day contract. The Hawks, Warriors, and Pelicans fall into this category, with Briante Weber‘s second 10-day deal in Golden State set to expire soon.
For a full breakdown of NBA roster counts, check out our list.
When word broke that the 76ers would likely end up receiving a pair of second-round picks from the Mavericks in the Nerlens Noel trade, rather than a first-rounder, critics were quick to rule the deal a misstep for GM Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers. However, in the view of Mavs GM Donnie Nelson, the draft compensation isn’t even the most important part of the package heading to Philadelphia — Nelson thinks Justin Anderson is that centerpiece.
“Look, they had an extremely difficult situation,” Nelson said of the Sixers, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. “They were overstocked at the center position. You’re looking at basically the possibility of a couple-month rental, and so I think they did the best that they could with the situation they had. It was really a need position for us, and it was taking the best possible deal they could get. They like Justin Anderson a lot. He is the critical piece, and it was hard for us to give them that piece.”
David Murphy of The Philadelphia Daily News agrees with Nelson’s sentiment, writing – even before the Mavs GM spoke to reporters – that the success of the deal from the Sixers’ perspective figures to hinge on the development of Anderson.
- The trade market for Jahlil Okafor leading up to the deadline was “much more broad” than the market for Noel, but the right deal didn’t present itself, per Colangelo (Twitter links via Jake Fischer of SI.com). The Sixers GM hinted that the team will probably revisit trade talks involving Okafor at a later date.
- Andrew Bogut won’t be with the Sixers for at least a week while dealing with personal issues, but that doesn’t preclude the two sides from negotiating a buyout during that time, says Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links). A buyout is considered likely, so Bogut may never end up reporting to Philadelphia.
- Colangelo said today that Tiago Splitter is hoping to get back onto the court this season and the Sixers will help him rehab, but the big man – acquired from the Hawks this week – isn’t part of the club’s long term plans (Twitter links via Fischer and Pompey). Splitter will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- Colangelo said today that Ersan Ilyasova will be seeking a long-term deal in free agency this summer, but wasn’t part of the Sixers’ long-term plans, which was why the club felt compelled to move him this week (Twitter link via Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com).
- Joel Embiid wasn’t thrilled with the cagey way in which the Sixers handled updates on his knee injury, as Tom Moore of The Burlington County Times writes. “I was told I was going to kind of miss two or three weeks, so I wasn’t happy with the way it was handled,” said Embiid, who was announced as day-to-day when he first went down. “I thought keeping my name out there was going to literally have people think about me all the time instead of just saying when I was going to be back.”
8:48pm: The trade is official, according to a press release from the Sixers. The announcement suggests that if the 2017 first-round pick from the Mavs isn’t conveyed, Philadelphia will receive Dallas’ second-round picks for 2017 and 2020, though that may be a typo — RealGM’s log of traded picks shows that the Sixers would get the 2017 and 2018 picks, as noted below.
11:58am: According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News (Twitter links), if the Sixers don’t receive the Mavs’ first-round pick this year, they’ll instead receive 2017 and 2018 second-round picks from Dallas. Since that first-rounder is top-18 protected, it seems very unlikely to change hands, so the conditions on the pick make the deal look even better for the Mavs.
11:30am: There are still some moving parts to sort out in the deal before it becomes official, according to Jake Fischer of SI.com, who tweets that the trade may expand to involve a third team so that the Sixers don’t have to waive a player.
10:46am: The Sixers are in agreement with the Mavericks on a deal that will send Nerlens Noel to Dallas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, Philadelphia will receive Justin Anderson and a first-round pick from the Mavs. ESPN’s Marc Stein adds (via Twitter) that the Sixers will also get Andrew Bogut‘s expiring contract.
According to Stein (via Twitter), the first-round pick heading to the Sixers in the deal will be top-18 protected in 2017, which makes it unlikely that it will change hands this year. As our 2016/17 Reverse Standings show, Dallas currently projects to have the No. 7 overall pick, though Noel should help improve this year’s team. Future protections on the first-rounder have not yet been reported.
Noel, who will turn 23 in April, was frequently mentioned as a trade candidate earlier this season, particularly after he publicly questioned the Sixers’ decision to head into camp with a logjam at center. However, the former sixth overall pick had played well as of late, averaging 8.9 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and a career-best .611 FG% in less than 20 minutes per game for the season.
Recent trade rumors had focused more on Jahlil Okafor than Noel, so it will be interesting to see if the Sixers end up moving Okafor today as well. In his full report on the trade, Wojnarowski suggests Okafor is now likely to stay put. However, as Jake Fischer of SI.com notes (via Twitter), the Sixers have been “steadfast” this week in their efforts to move Okafor, so it would be a change of direction to hang onto him now.
[RELATED: Latest on Jahlil Okafor]
For the Mavs, Noel represents a substantial upgrade at center, giving the team the sort of athletic, rim-protecting big man it had been seeking. As Wojnarowski tweets, Dallas has “long been intrigued” by Noel, and will look to lock him up this summer. The Kentucky product will be a restricted free agent, so the Mavs will have the opportunity to match any offers he receives from other teams.
From the Sixers’ perspective, the move represents a chance to pick up a young player and a draft pick while also potentially not having to worry about reaching the salary floor. Anderson has yet to make a real impact in his two NBA seasons, but he’s still just 23 years old and won’t be a restricted free agent until the summer of 2019. Meanwhile, the combined salaries for Bogut ($11MM+) and Anderson ($1.51MM) are worth approximately $8MM more than Noel’s salary, allowing Philadelphia to surpass the salary floor.
However, if the Sixers were to flip Bogut in another deadline deal, that could change the equation, and the team has yet to decide what they’ll do with the veteran center, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link). ESPN’s Chris Haynes reports (via Twitter) that Bogut and the Sixers are expected to engage in buyout talks, with potential suitors like the Cavs keeping a close eye on the situation. However, TNT’s David Aldridge (Twitter links) suggests Philadelphia could reroute the former No. 1 pick to another team, with the Celtics as one possibility.
A couple final bookkeeping notes on the swap: Assuming it’s completed as reported, Dallas should have the opportunity to create a pair of trade exceptions in the deal. One would be worth about $6.64MM (the difference between Bogut’s and Noel’s salaries), while the other would be worth approximately $1.51MM (Anderson’s salary). The Mavs should also now comfortably avoid the luxury tax this season, having previously been about $1MM away from the tax threshold.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Randle, who appeared in eight games for Philadelphia, signed a three-year contract January 30th. Only his $233,373 salary for this season was guaranteed. Randle would have received $1,312,611 for 2017/18 and $1,544,951 for 2018/19 if he had remained with the team.
The Sixers sent Nerlens Noel to Dallas in exchange for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a first-round pick. Because Philadelphia already had 15 players on its roster, someone had to go before the trade could be finalized.
Bogut is expected to agree to a buyout, so Randle could return to fill that roster spot if he clears waivers. Randle saw just an average of 9.3 minutes per night in his eight games, but scored 5.3 points per contest and shot 40% from 3-point range.
6:10pm: The Warriors could be permitted to join the competition for Bogut, tweets salary cap expert Albert Nahmad. Golden State traded Bogut on July 7th of last year, and NBA rules state that players who are traded have to wait a full year before rejoining their original team. However, Bogut was traded again today, which could create a loophole to allow him to sign with the Warriors. The league could determine that Bogut can’t go to Dallas or Golden State, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical (Twitter link), but it may also rule that the restriction only applies to the last team that traded him, which is now the Mavericks.
Bogut was traded from Dallas to Philadelphia earlier today in a deal involving Nerlens Noel. The veteran center doesn’t fit into the Sixers’ plans and was acquired mainly to get Philadelphia closer to the cap floor. Buyout discussions are expected to begin immediately.
The 32-year-old is making a little more than $11MM this season in the final year of his contract. Injuries limited him to just 26 games in Dallas, where he averaged 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per night. He has been dealing with a strained right hamstring that sidelined him for parts of January and February.
The Rockets are well positioned for the buyout market, with more than $3.54MM in cap space available. By contrast, the pro-rated taxpayer mid-level exception is about $2.5MM and the pro-rated room MLE is roughly $2MM. “We have the most money of all the contenders,” Houston GM Daryl Morey said today in an appearance on The Vertical. (Twitter link).
The Rockets opened up cap room and two roster spots with a pair of deals today — sending K.J. McDaniels to the Nets for a future draft choice and Tyler Ennis to the Lakers in exchange for Marcelo Huertas, who is expected to be waived.
The Cavaliers have expressed an interest in Bogut, and the Spurs are expected to join the chase once the buyout is completed, according to Stein (Twitter link). Bogut had a chance to join the Rockets last summer when the Warriors gave him a list of destinations where he could be traded, but he chose Dallas instead.