Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, discusses the situation around Nerlens Noel this past offseason and how Noel is betting on himself.
The back-and-forth between the Dallas Mavericks and Nerlens Noel lasted longer than anyone imagined this past summer and it all came to a screeching halt when Noel decided to sign the qualifying offer in Dallas.
Now, Noel will make just $4.1 million this season and hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
Not the most ideal situation for either party, but neither the Mavericks or Noel were willing to meet the other’s demand in negotiations.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, went on ESPN Dallas on September 1st where he talked about the situation that took place with Noel.
“I’m satisfied with it. I wouldn’t call it happy,” Cuban said to ESPN Dallas.
“We made what we thought was a significant offer. Nerlens decided to bet on himself, and now we’re in a position where, if everybody comes out ahead this coming season, he’ll get paid, we’ll be happy, and we’ll go on with life. He’s not going to be the first player to bet on himself, and he won’t be the last,” Cuban said.
It was widely reported that the Mavericks offered Noel at the beginning of free agency a deal that was north of $70 million. But that wasn’t enough for Noel as the big man was wanting a max contract that would be around $25 million a year.
The “everybody comes out ahead” comment refers to Dallas’ ability to offer the most money next summer because they will still have Noel’s bird rights. But of course, this would only matter if max contracts were on the table.
Cuban went on to talk about how this affects the other restricted players on the market.
"“And it’s unfortunate for Nerlens and other players. There’s a lot of other restricted free agents, particularly bigs, that are in the same position. Where last year the market was really strong, and guys saw players get paid that maybe they didn’t think deserved the amount they got paid, and everybody expected the cap to go up by another 10 million dollars, and when the cap didn’t go up that 10 million dollars, everybody got squeezed, and that’s just what happened. I think Nerlens understands that,” Cuban said."
Cuban is referring to players like JaMychal Green, Mason Plumlee, Nikola Mirotic, Nerlens Noel and others that are missing out on these long term deals. With the exception of Noel, the others are still on the market as of September 11th.
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Cuban also mentioned that he has talked to Noel and that he has respect for the big fella betting on himself.
“I’ve talked to him since and he’s like, “I’m ready to do this. Let’s go out and have a great year.” And he’s just got that positive attitude and that’s been great. Look, the whole time — I’ve got to give Nerlens props. While all of this was going on, he was very positive. It was like look, “Our agents are our agents, and they’re doing their thing, but I’m excited.” And so I give him a ton of credit,” Cuban told ESPN Dallas.
Some owners might be bitter after a situation like this, but not the business side of Mark Cuban. He respects that Noel had to do what he did and is saying all of the right things to make it seem they are all on the right page heading into the new season.
You can listen to the full interview here.
Media day is scheduled for September 25th in Dallas and this situation will take center stage with everyone in the media.