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Nerlens Noel wants a contract worth $20 million a year; Mavs only willing to pay him $12-15 million

This year’s free agency has had its fair share of surprises, where teams quickly pounced in signing free agents who they believe can boost their chances of winning it all next season. However, there are still some notable players who are continuing to be in talks for a possible new contract.

One of them is Dallas Mavericks restricted free agent center Nerlens Noel, who is still engaged in talks with his team and are currently discussing the amount he’ll potentially be paid in the coming years. The 23-year-old Kentucky product reportedly wants to receive around $20 million annually, but the Mavs are only willing to pay him in the $12-15 million range.

This is not good news at all for both parties as there’s an obvious gap between their figures. If they will be unable to strike a deal this summer, Noel will become an unrestricted free agent a year from now, and will be available to sign with any team that shows interest in him.

He landed in Dallas during the trade deadline in February in exchange for Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a first round pick in June’s draft. He was slowly eased into the team’s system by head coach Rick Carlisle and appeared in 22 games for them. Noel averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks in 22.0 minutes, and established himself as their future center.

Should the Mavs and Noel not agree on a deal soon, another team could emerge as a serious contender for his services, and could sign him to an offer sheet. It could pressure Mark Cuban and company to match it, in order for them to retain his services. Their situation is definitely something worth keeping an eye on and will be interesting to see how things will unfold for them in the coming weeks.