The Mavs made a big splash and kicked off Trade Deadline Day by sending Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut and a first round pick (protected 1-18) for 2013 number six pick overall, Nerlens Noel.
From the Philly side: the Mavs acquired Bogut for a second rounder, so you can think of it almost as two firsts and a second rounder for Noel. Considering the market for big men (Boogie’s trade returns from New Orleans, Brook Lopez is rumored to be available for a first and Drummond entering the market), this was a decent haul for Philly for their backup center.
More importantly, on the Mavs side: they gave up a bench player (Justin Anderson) at what was becoming a crowded part of the rotation with this season’s emergence of Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith (an undrafted rookie!) and an often-injured expiring contract center in Bogut, who was barely suiting up for a potential franchise player. That first round-pick may come back to bite Dallas if the protections don’t fall their way, but the upside of Noel could counter all that.
Recently, Noel’s stock has gone down some due to a crowded front court in Philly. But in Dallas, he should have opportunities to shine. His mobility and defensive energy (2.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per 36) give Dallas a totally new dimension this year. Between Salah Mejri and Noel, the Mavs have 12 long defensive fouls to give and several blocks per game to share.
Longer-term, Noel, who is just 22 years old, could be paired for Barnes for years to come, which will let the Mavs focus on building their backcourt. Think of a young Tyson Chandler with swipes. The Mavericks are high on Noel and are going to be looking to sign him to a long deal. (He will be a restricted free agent after next season.)
This appears to be a win-win deal for both teams that helps Dallas this year while giving them a foundational piece moving forward.