Did you hear the Mavericks traded for Nerlens Noel? In a trade deadline Thursday mostly fueled by deals that didn’t get done, Dallas is sending Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut, and a highly protected first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.
By now, you can see what we think about the deal, but how did the transaction resonate across the NBA media?
Starting locally with Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend:
Regardless whether they make other moves in next 1:45, Mavs have provided ample reason to watch final 26 games that, frankly didn't exist.— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 23, 2017
Considering how the Mavericks have struggled locally on TV (more on that tomorrow) he’s absolutely right.
Next, we have ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.
Not trying to influence @kpelton but Dallas getting possible franchise C & protecting pick even if they make playoffs makes that a nice deal— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) February 23, 2017
The pick protection is really crazy. There’s almost no way (barring a massive win streak) that the Mavericks win so many games that they pick 19th or higher in the draft. Since the pick turns into a pair of later second rounders, I’d say the Mavericks got away with one here.
CBS’ Matt Moore makes a good point though:
Noel doesn’t come without risk. I love the deal for Dallas, but this could look different down the road for a variety of reasons— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) February 23, 2017
He said this before the pick protections were announced but it still holds true. Noel is a restricted free agent so whatever deal he’s offered, by the Mavericks or another team, could impact how Dallas builds its team for years.
Noted National Media Member (TM) Tim Cato chimes in:
Noel, pending health, easily has the potential to be as good as '11 Tyson Chandler.— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) February 23, 2017
This is a bold statement that feels right. The potential alone makes this deal an absolute steal.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton is slightly more tepid on the deal (Insider) than most, giving the Mavericks a B+:
If they can re-sign Noel as a restricted free agent to a deal starting around $15 million per season and get average or better play from him as a starting center, giving up Anderson and what will likely be a couple of second-round picks would be great value because Noel is a better center option than anyone they likely could have signed in free agency.
He goes on to note that if another team makes a massive offer to Noel, Dallas might not realize the total value of the pick, since the goal has to be signing him to a contract he can outperform.
Sport Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney thinks the Mavericks deserve a slightly better grade of A-.
Together with Barnes, a mid-first, and a serviceable collection of emerging rotation players (including Seth Curry), Dallas finally has something in hand in preparation for Nowitzki’s eventual retirement. In the absence of a clear superstar prospect, the Mavs have cobbled together a respectable foundation to remain competitive.
Former Mavs Moneyball writer Jonathan Tjarks is the highest I’ve seen so far on the deal:
[A] frontcourt of Noel and Barnes should give the Mavs one of the most athletic duos in the league. For as long as those two seem to have been in the league, Noel is 22 and Barnes is 24, so there’s still room (and time) for both of them to grow. The Mavs have spent most of the last decade mortgaging their future in an effort to build around Dirk; now they actually have the beginnings of a young core.
The good folks at SB Nation NBA are ambivalent at best about the deal:
The end result of this move: Dallas is going to pay Nerlens Noel a ton of money this summer.
Sixers grade: HOW DARE YOU
Mavericks grade: [throws a bag of gold coins at Nerlens’ feet]