NBA teams hoping to acquire a power forward in next month's free agency may be left with one less option, as the Dallas Mavericks appear determined to re-sign Nerlens Noel, a restricted free agent.
That's according to Marc Stein of ESPN:
Re-signing Nerlens Noel, league sources say, is Dallas' offseason priority, far ahead of their long-anticipated interest in UFA Jrue Holiday— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 24, 2017
Noel, 23, was traded to Dallas from the Sixers back in February for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and two second round picks. He played 22 games for the Mavs, who did not qualify for the playoffs.
Trading for Noel represented a risk, given he does not have a contract for next season. But Dallas should have the opportunity to match whatever offer he gets in free agency if he indeed makes it that far.
Noel, though, could be expensive. He's very young and holds averages of 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks per game through three NBA seasons. Durability is a concern, as he only played in 51 games last season due to a surgery he had in October. But he played in 67 games the season before and 71 the year before that.
Noel was the sixth overall pick in 2013, the same year the Wizards took Otto Porter third overall.