The Dallas Mavericks and Nerlens Noel reluctantly came to a deal via the one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer. Although it may not look good on the surface, this deal could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Mavericks.
Everyone sees this Nerlens Noel fiasco as a big time failure by either one or both of the parties involved. Opinions are flying around all over the place and people want explanations as to how a guy so excited to be a Dallas Mavericks will now be looking for a new team in less than a year. There are reasons to panic if you are a Mavs fan, but there are still silver linings on every gloomy cloud.
I can’t imagine that people are going to agree with this post too much and, seeing it from their point of view, I totally get that. However, that does not change the fact that I believe the Noel deal is a good thing. It may not pan out the way we expected it to and it may hurt the Mavs, but it also has a great chance of helping the team.
Let me explain.
Firstly, Nerlens Noel is on a bargain deal right now. That gives the Mavs some major cap space flexibility come trade deadline and also gives them a great player on a small term deal. Teams looking for one more piece towards a title run could pick up a player like Noel for next to nothing and Dallas could take on an expiring contract with draft compensation as well.
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Secondly, there are a lot of holes in the story of how this deal happened. For more in depth coverage on the questions we still need answers to, click here. These unanswered questions are important, but one that really sticks out to me is how the parties reacted to the deal that was struck. If Nerlens Noel wasn’t terribly offended, the Mavs may not have burnt the last bridge just yet. It would just require a max next year. Which brings me to my next point.
Thirdly, Noel and the Mavericks will get to use this season as a tryout year. If any of you are concerned that one party will not have as much interest in returning to this deal, let me remind you of one big thing from each side. Nerlens Noel is 23 years old. The Mavs will have no problem throwing max dollars at him as long as he proves he deserves it. And for Noel, the Mavs will have the most money to offer next summer.
I really believe that the fact that Noel was a restricted free agent limited how well these conversations between player and team could have gone. Had he been unrestricted, this whole process would have gone very differently.
Lastly, both parties are going to make the decision that is best for them in the long run. If that means that Noel staying in Dallas is of mutual interest, it will happen. Just expect it to only happen if Noel shows he can stay healthy and make a big impact on the court.
Overall, after reading all the news that came out, I don’t believe the disconnect is as wide as many others believe. Noel wanted money and Dallas wanted proof. They settled on a deal that has the makings of getting Noel a whole lot of money in the future and Dallas shouldn’t be counted out on that opportunity. We can only wait and see for now.