The Dallas Mavericks’ negotiations with Nerlens Noel remain far apart and the representative for the fourth-year center said Tuesday that the situation could drag on well into the summer.
Noel, 23, is a restricted free agent, meaning the Mavericks can match any offer the former University of Kentucky star might get from another team.
However, agent Happy Walters said the Mavericks have yet to come up with a realistic contract offer.
“We’re very disappointed with where things stand,” Walters said. “Nerlens loves Dallas and spent June there working out, but we’re still waiting on a serious offer.”
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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said only that he cannot go into details about the negotiations.
The Mavericks have 13 players with guaranteed contracts and Noel would represent the next-to-last roster spot available.
They are weighing their options with regard to Chinese swingman Ding Yanyuhang and big man Brandon Ashley, both of whom played well at the summer league in Las Vegas.
Noel played well in his 22 games with the Mavericks last season after joining them in a trade from Philadelphia. He averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. He played sparingly down the stretch because the Mavericks were more interested in seeing other players develop and to ensure they did not rise any further in the standings.
The options for Noel are limited. He could take whatever offer the Mavericks submit, and clearly the numbers they are talking about aren’t to Noel’s liking. He could sign the qualifying offer that will remain on the table until Oct. 16, which is about $6 million.
Or he could sign an offer sheet with a team that has appropriate salary cap space.
With none of those possibilities seeming imminent, it’s likely the standoff between Noel and the Mavericks will continue.