The Dallas Mavericks are still in pursuit of Nerlens Noel, but with the knowledge that no one else has the spending power that they do, it is time to find the right deal. Could this negotiation tactic hurt both the team and Noel’s progression and production?
It is alright to be scared at this point if you are a Dallas Mavericks fan. The fact that we are getting ever closer to the preseason should be something of note for everyone still following the Nerlens Noel craze. Is there going to be a deal before the month ends?
You would think that it would be crazy to imagine that a deal is still not struck between Dallas and Noel by the time September roles around, or even more so by October, but the fact remains that no one really knows what is going on in those contract conversations.
There are some major issues that accompany this elongated discussion between the two parties. Aside from the obvious lock-up of money and power that goes with watching this process through, there are also some other things that the Mavs and Noel are going to have to work extra hard to be where everyone needs to be before the season starts.
Here are a couple things that really stick out.
1. Team Preparation
The Mavs have been a very tight knit team for as long as I can remember. Nothing will ever top the camaraderie that was seen by the 2010-11 Mavs team that won it all, but each team has had growing moments together. Despite the constantly fluctuating roster, Dallas has always been a team instead of a group of individuals.
That has often times been thanks to a lot of time spent together off the court. Dirk Nowitzki has been a leader of that for many years and always likes to invite his teammates to parties, social gatherings, and even charity events. However, when there is so much up in the air with certain players, they can miss out on these bonding times. This could easily translate to distrust or poor team effort on the court.
2. Physicality Concerns
This one is more strictly concerning Nerlens Noel as an individual but, when a player has an injury history, each season needs to be prepared for properly. With all of the craziness that this summer has brought so far, it is easy to get caught up in the business side of things and let basketball get overlooked for a few weeks.
That’s not to say that I believe Noel is not still focused on basketball. It is likely that he is still getting his workouts in everyday and preparing for the season as best he can. But, with so much in the air still about what he will be doing next season, it is easy to let that get to your head. Let’s hope that is not the case for Noel.
3. Lack of Available Fillers
If the Mavericks and Noel absolutely cannot come to an agreement, I would expect the results to be a sign-and-trade with another club. The reason for that is simply that there are no more options on the open market right now. That is the pain of investing all of your time and efforts into one player.
Even if things are tense, however, the Mavs and Noel are going to come to a deal. As a restricted free agent, there is no doubt Dallas would match any offer sheet they did come in contact with. This isn’t for any other reason than there is no one else out there to take his place as the Mavericks starting big man.
There are still more questions than answers when it comes to Nerlens Noel, but all we can do right now is just keep hoping and updating that Twitter feed daily. Until the news drops, anything is possible and the likelihood of something going wrong continues to increase.