Dallas Mavericks: Analyzing The Nerlens Noel Trade

The Dallas Mavericks have made a mini-splash at the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline, agreeing to acquire Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to trade Justin Anderson and a first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Nerlens Noel.

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped another of his Woj bombs on the Twitter universe Thursday before the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline.

The first round pick in this year’s draft is 1-18 protected, according to Marc Stein. It is also reported that Andrew Bogut is a part of this deal.

Justin Anderson, the second year player out of Virginia, had been averaging 6.5 points and 13.9 minutes per game for the Mavericks.  The oft-injured Bogut has averaged 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Mavericks in 26 games this season. Bogut returned right before the All-Star Break after missing the previous six games.

Nerlens Noel has struggled with being the third wheel in Philadelphia behind Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. Due to injuries, Noel has only played in 171 out of a possible 302 games in his career.  So far this season, he has averaged 8.9 points and only 5.0 rebounds in 29 games for the 76ers.

After this season Nerlens Noel, who is still only 22 years old, will be a restricted free agent. With this trade, Dallas will push to re-sign him before he hits the restricted free agent market. The Mavs will also have the right to match any offer sheet that Noel may sign with another team this offseason.

Nerlens Noel is an atrocious shooter and because of that, he projects best at the center position. He should be able to exclusively play center for the Mavericks alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Powell and Harrison Barnes at times.

Noel is a gifted athlete who will be used to protect the rim in Dallas. He is averaging 1.7 blocks and an astounding 2.7 steals per 36 minutes this season. His blocks are at a career-low this year, but a lot that has to do with him playing out of position in Philadelphia.

Noel also excels at finishing at the rim. He uses his athleticism well to track down rebounds and lobs and finish with authority. Dallas has been looking for a franchise center to replace Tyson Chandler ever since he left after their championship season in 2010-11.

This is a perfect example of a low risk, high reward move for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks gave up minimal assets in exchange for a player who has the potential to be a fringe All-Star down the road.

Obviously with Noel’s injury history this trade could backfire. However, by giving up an aging big man, a player who is likely to be a team’s eighth man off the bench and a protected first round pick  that will likely become two second round picks, they are minimizing the potential loss.

Dallas might not make the playoffs this season. They only sit three games away from the eighth seed, but this moves signals their intentions. It means that they will not have to surrender a first round pick for a man who was drafted sixth overall just four years ago.

Ultimately, Nerlens Noel has flashed the potential to be a part of the next wave of dominant big men in the NBA.

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