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Rumor: Mavericks don’t see Nerlens Noel as hard worker

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 07: Nerlens Noel #3 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 7, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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These aren’t the first rumblings about Nerlens Noel’s attitude.

They’re just the loudest since the Mavericks traded for him.

Newy Scruggs for The Dallas Morning News:
My sources tell me that Nerlens Noel is not known as a hard worker.

I’m told he doesn’t have a sense of hard play and that’s not going to fly with a head coach like Rick Carlisle who had to cut his teeth as a NBA player.

Until Noel shows a better work ethic other players will get minutes.

Noel is outside Dallas’ rotation, a terrible place to be in a contract year. He rejected a reported $17.5 million annually to sign his qualifying offer last summer, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Noel isn’t getting a chance to showcase himself on the court. He’s removing the plausibility that his previous problems were due to the 76ers’ miserable situation. Not that the Mavericks are great, either, but they’re known for a far better environment for player development.

Perhaps, Dallas would treat him differently if he signed long-term. But the Mavericks are literally not invested in him. The onus is on him to force his way into the rotation.

It’s not necessarily too late for Noel in Dallas. The Mavericks still have his Bird Rights, and they were obviously quite interested in him just a few months ago.

But time is ticking to find common ground between the team and player. More importantly for Noel, potential suitors in free agency are watching.