Rumor: Mavericks RFA Nerlens Noel rejected contract worth $17.5 million annually

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Nerlens Noel has been the best free agent available for a while, and it doesn’t appear the restricted Mavericks center will strike a deal any time soon. He just hired Rich Paul, who’s default negotiation tactic is waiting.

Noel is said to desire the max, which, who wouldn’t? We don’t know what he’d actually settle for. But now we have an idea what Dallas is offering.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

A report like this should be taken for what it is: incomplete. How many years? More importantly, how much is guaranteed? Is the offer still on the table?

Whoever leaked this did so to paint his or her side in the most favorable light. Based on only what we know – a $17.5 million average annual salary – the offer might be good for Noel, terrible for Noel or anywhere in between.

Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum ignored those caveats and shared a sharp opinion:

It’s shocking to see a player publicly insert himself into another player’s business like this.

Granted, a fully guaranteed deal worth $17.5 million annually – no matter its length – looks good for Noel. It’s hard to see another team offering more at this point, and that’d trump his $4,187,599 qualifying offer – especially given Noel’s injury history.

But I don’t know the guarantees in the reported proposal. Unless McCollum does, he’s not positioned to critique the advice Noel is receiving.