Nerlens Noel needs a time machine to take him back to last summer. It was around this time last year that Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks offered Noel a four-year, $70 million contract — to which he respectfully declined. Noel instead signed a one-year deal for $4.1 million, in hopes of attracting much larger options this summer as an unrestricted free agent on the market. The former Wildcat intended to have a big 2017-18 season in Dallas, one that would then have all 30 teams eyeing him for a big payday this summer. That did not happen, and Noel’s plan backfired in a major way.
On Monday, Noel signed his new deal as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018; however, it’s nowhere near what he anticipated when he gambled on himself last season. It’s not even close to the Mavericks’ original offer of $70 million over four years.
No, Noel’s new contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder is reportedly worth only $3.5 million over two years, which is the league veteran minimum. So instead of earning $17.5 million per year for four years in Dallas, he’s earning $1.75 million per year for two years in OKC.
I bet he’d like to have that decision back.