Why Teams Are Envying Dallas With Nerlens Noel

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 17: Jahlil Okafor
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 17: Jahlil Okafor /

The Nerlens Noel situation still isn’t resolved, but that doesn’t mean teams across the league aren’t envying the spot Dallas is in at the moment.

It was trade deadline day on February 23rd and deals were dropping left and right. But one of the bigger deals of the day happened to be between the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Coming out of no where, Dallas traded second year wing, Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and their protected 2017 first round draft pick that turned into two second round picks instead, to the 76ers in exchange for Nerlens Noel.

A Noel who was about to hit restricted free agency.

Noel was drafted 6th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, but could have went even higher if it weren’t for the fact that he tore his ACL during his freshman year at the University of Kentucky. He would head to Philly where he would sit out his entire rookie season.

In his sophomore and junior seasons in the league, Noel would only miss 22 games total and would average right at 30 minutes a game. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 2016-17 season that Noel would have another knee injury that would sit him out of the first 23 games of the season.

Philadelphia was stuck in a tight spot. Armed with young talent up front like Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, how much would they be willing to pay Noel on the restricted free agent market come the offseason? With the way spending went in the summer of 2016, would they be prepared to hand Noel a contract near the max?

In came Dallas with an offer at the trade deadline to take the dilemma off their hands.

With the thought from around the league that a looming, big contract for Noel in free agency would be risky to say the least, Philly decided to get something for him instead of trying to match a large offer sheet.

To Dallas and many around the league, the package wasn’t that impressive.

Anderson had pretty much fallen out of the rotation in Dallas and Bogut provided an expiring contract to help Philly towards the cap number. The two second round picks were an extra bonus for the rebuilding Sixers.

Dallas made the deal and decided to take their chances with Noel in restricted free agency.

Now, fast forward to almost the middle of August and Nerlens Noel still hasn’t signed an offer sheet with any team, including the Dallas Mavericks.

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The money and opportunities have dried up and now Noel sits at a standstill with the Mavericks on terms of a long-term contract.

Either way, the athletic, 23 year old Noel isn’t getting his max contract and in fact, could be signing for a much cheaper contract now that the money has dried up. Not only did Dallas hardly give up anything substantial, but it looks like they will bring back Noel at a number way less than the max.

Looking back, how many teams around the league would have given up a better package for Noel at the deadline if they knew they could possibly resign Noel at the number he looks to get in Dallas?

How many teams in the league are envious of Dallas at the moment because they overwhelmingly got the better end of the Noel trade and look to be locking in Noel for under the max?

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Dallas played their hand quite nicely with Noel and a handful of teams across the league must jealous of the fact that they are not in the same boat as Dallas in locking their 23-year old center in a presumably below max contract.