The Smoking Cuban

Dallas Mavericks: Recent history of the center position woes

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Nerlens Noel (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks trade for Nerlens Noel

Nerlens Noel was the big trade that the Mavs decided they needed to make. They saw him as not only a starting-caliber big man but as a franchise-altering talent. In 2017, the Mavericks acquired Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a first-round pick. It was a steep price to pay, given Anderson was a first-round pick in 2015.

Nerlens Noel missed his entire first season with a knee injury. After three years with the Sixers, Noel was on the sidelines for 104 of the team’s 246 regular-season games. His injury history, coupled with a logjam at the five, pushed Philadelphia to trade him.

Dallas saw Noel as a potential standout roll man that would be able to rebound and play elite defense. Unfortunately, once again it looked like the production would not match the hype, Noel averaged just 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game in the 2016-2017 season with Dallas.

That didn’t stop the Mavericks from offering Noel a 4 year, $70 million contract. Shockingly, Nerlens Noel turned down the deal wanting to seek a bigger offer in free agency.

The following season, Noel battled injuries once again and only played in 30 games. He averaged 4.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 15.7 minutes per game. Just awful production given his talent. Noel should have taken the extension. He did not get the offers he hoped for in free agency and ended up signing in Oklahoma City on a one-year $3.7 million deal in the summer of 2018.

Next: Kristaps Porzingis