Nerlens Noel and the Mavericks remain far apart in contract negotiations, reports Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The 23-year-old big man is a restricted free agent, and as such, the Mavs can match any offer another team might tender for Noel’s services.
“We’re very disappointed with where things stand. Nerlens loves Dallas and spent June there working out, but we’re still waiting on a serious offer,” said Happy Walters, Noel’s agent.
For his part, Mavs owner Mark Cuban is unwilling to provide any details about the negotiations.
Sefko points out that 13 Mavericks currently have guaranteed contracts, meaning that only two roster spots remain. After the 76ers traded Noel to the Mavs in late February, he played 22 games, averaging 8.5 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 22.0 MPG, shooting a strong 57.5% from the floor. Noel, known for his defense, also posted 1.1 BPG and 1.0 SPG. Down the stretch, Noel’s minutes were lowered, so that the Mavs could get a look at up-and-coming players, as well as keep their win total down.
According to Sefko, Noel has limited options. He could accept whatever the Mavericks offer, despite these numbers not being to Noel’s liking. Noel could also sign the Mavs’ qualifying offer, which is about $6MM, and will remain on the table until October 16. Finally, the big man could sign an offer sheet with another team that has sufficient salary cap space.
Since none of these possibilities appear imminent, Sefko concludes that a continuation of the standoff between Noel and the Mavs is very likely. The stalemate could last well into the summer.