Dallas Mavericks started the preseason Monday night with a home win vs Milwaukee. Johnathan Motley hit the game winner with 4.7 seconds left. Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com
Dallas Mavericks started the preseason Monday night with a home win vs Milwaukee. Johnathan Motley hit the game winner with 4.7 seconds left. Brian Gosset bgosset@star-telegram.com

Dallas Mavericks

On 1-year deal, Nerlens Noel has value and upside for Dallas Mavericks

By Brian Gosset

bgosset@star-telegram.com

October 02, 2017 10:28 PM

DALLAS

As a restricted free agent this summer, Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel signed a one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer.

He might be waiting to cash in next year.

Noel, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, played 3  1/2 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers before Dallas traded for the big man in February.

According to his former agent, Happy Walters, Noel declined a four-year, $70 million contract from Mark Cuban and the Mavericks.

In 193 career games, Noel is averaging 10 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks, and shooting 51.1 percent from the field.

@ChrisBHaynes You can't rewrite history for @richpaul4 @mcuban offered a 4 year $70m deal and Nerlens passed. #diligencetweets

— Happy Walters (@Happywalters) August 26, 2017

Noel’s agreement of the qualifying offer came four days after firing Walters and signing with Rich Paul.

“It’s my fourth season and I’m just going to play the highest level of basketball I can,” Noel said during Mavs Media Day on Sept. 25. “It’s what I’m built for and I’ve worked in the off-season and have expanded my skill set and whole game.”

The Mavericks tipped off the preseason Monday night with a 106-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Rookie Johnathan Motley made the go-ahead basket with 4.7 seconds left.

Noel played 15 minutes, including the entire second quarter, registering five points, one rebound, one assist, two steals and two blocks. He made both his field-goal attempts and was 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.

“I was happy the way he withstood from a conditioning standpoint,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s got such quickness, he does so many intangible great things because of his length, quickness and anticipation. All in all, I like where he’s at and I like him playing with that group because we have playmakers and guys that throw lobs and find him.

“Defensively, he was a factor so I thought he had a very good night.”

Noel averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22 games for the Mavericks last season.

“I have a simple mindset. I want to come in and play the best basketball I can play and do all the things needed to help this team win,” Noel said. “I’m focusing on having fun and having a great year.”

While Noel is putting faith in himself — he could get more money as an unrestricted free agent if he has a great season — he’s excited about playing with rookie guard Dennis Smith, Jr.

“He’s a point guard I’ve always dreamed about,” Noel said. “He brings that aspect of athleticism and matched with his IQ for the game, and poise at 19 years old is the biggest thing.

“I think we’re really going to take each other’s games to a new level as the season goes along with more chemistry between us. I’m ecstatic; I always wanted a point guard like this.”

LET'S GOO !! It's Lit @Dennis4Smith welcome to the family !!

— Nerlens Noel (@NerlensNoel3) June 23, 2017

“That’s my dream big,” added Smith, who had three points, two steals and one assist Monday. “He’s super athletic and understands how to play. He has a lot of faith in me so I believe playing with a guy like that we can help each other a lot.”

Noel, who started 12 games for Dallas last season, told Carlisle he was fine coming off the bench. Carlisle said that Dirk Nowitzki at center is “probably the best thing for Dirk and for the team,” although the lineup still isn’t “set in stone.”

“For him to accept this role — to take it on and thrive in it — it only increases his value as a free agent,” Carlisle said. “He’s doing all the right things and thinking the right way, and he’s set up to have a great year. We want this kid’s career to take an upward trajectory and to continue to get better.”

Milwaukee

27

28

29

20

104

Dallas

29

29

17

31

106

Milwaukee

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Middleton

14:30

4-9

2-2

1

3

1

12

Wilson

23:28

4-7

0-0

1

0

0

9

Henson

13:22

5-6

1-2

4

2

0

11

Brogdon

15:04

2-4

4-4

1

3

3

9

Brown

27:26

0-9

0-0

5

2

5

0

Vaughn

20:04

8-18

1-1

2

2

0

20

Teletovic

19:33

3-5

0-0

7

2

3

8

Monroe

17:17

6-8

0-0

7

2

1

12

Payton II

16:38

3-4

1-2

2

1

4

7

Snell

16:28

3-5

0-0

1

0

1

7

Marshall

16:14

0-1

0-0

0

10

2

0

Rush

13:26

0-2

1-1

0

2

1

1

Anthony

10:12

2-3

0-0

6

1

1

4

Dellavedova

8:56

1-3

0-0

2

3

1

2

Green

7:22

1-1

0-0

0

1

2

2

Totals

240

42-85

10-12

39

34

25

104

Percentages: FG .494, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 10-29, .345 (Vaughn 3-8, Middleton 2-4, Teletovic 2-4, Wilson 1-1, Snell 1-2, Brogdon 1-3, Dellavedova 0-1, Marshall 0-1, Rush 0-1, Brown 0-4). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 20 (27 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Henson, Monroe, Rush). Turnovers: 20 (Brogdon 4, Monroe 3, Vaughn 3, Anthony 2, Brown 2, Snell 2, Marshall, Middleton, Payton II, Rush). Steals: 8 (Vaughn 3, Brown, Dellavedova, Henson, Monroe, Payton II).

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Barnes

12:00

4-6

0-0

2

0

0

9

Matthews

12:00

2-4

0-0

4

5

1

4

Nowitzki

9:21

2-2

0-0

1

1

2

5

Curry

12:00

3-5

1-1

2

0

0

8

Smith

12:00

1-5

0-2

1

1

0

3

Clavell

21:06

3-7

2-5

5

2

2

11

Ferrell

17:37

4-8

2-3

1

1

2

12

Finney-Smith

17:35

1-2

1-2

3

3

0

3

Wayns

16:14

2-5

0-0

1

4

2

4

Ashley

15:34

2-5

2-3

2

1

0

7

Noel

14:39

2-2

1-2

1

1

0

5

Barea

12:00

2-6

0-0

1

4

1

5

Withey

12:00

0-5

0-0

5

0

1

0

Mejri

12:00

0-0

0-0

2

0

2

0

Powell

12:00

4-6

0-0

3

0

1

9

Harris

12:00

2-4

3-4

2

1

1

8

Kleber

11:02

2-5

0-0

1

0

1

4

Motley

8:52

3-6

3-5

5

0

0

9

Totals

240

39-83

15-27

42

24

16

106

Percentages: FG .470, FT .556. 3-Point Goals: 13-32, .406 (Clavell 3-6, Ferrell 2-4, Curry 1-1, Nowitzki 1-1, Powell 1-1, Ashley 1-2, Barnes 1-2, Harris 1-2, Barea 1-3, Smith 1-3, Finney-Smith 0-1, Matthews 0-1, Withey 0-2, Kleber 0-3). Team Rebounds: 11. Team Turnovers: 18 (25 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Noel 2, Ashley). Turnovers: 18 (Wayns 3, Curry 2, Ferrell 2, Harris 2, Barea, Clavell, Finney-Smith, Kleber, Matthews, Mejri, Powell, Smith, Withey). Steals: 12 (Clavell 3, Ashley 2, Ferrell 2, Noel 2, Smith 2, Withey).

Att.—16,223 (19,200). Officials—Lauren Holtkamp, David Guthrie, Derrick Collins

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