This year has been quite exhausting for restricted free agents. Many NBA teams have spent more money than ever and have given some questionably large amounts of money to players, leaving very little for teams to sign restricted free agents with.

One of these restricted free agents seeking a job in the NBA is Nerlens Noel. Last year, Noel averaged nearly nine points, one assist, and one block in a Dallas Mavericks jersey. With Noel being a three-year NBA veteran, it is rumored that he has been in search of a large contract from the Mavericks, but so far has seemed to have no luck. Noel seemed to be so angered by the fact that his agent was not able to get him the large contract he wanted, that he dropped his agent and went in search of a new one. He reportedly has signed a deal with agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, the same company that represents NBA stars like LeBron James, Triston Thompson, and Eric Bledsoe.

Rich Paul seems to have a good track record when it comes to finding players contracts and extending their contracts, helping players like LeBron James sign extensions with teams, in this case the Cleveland Cavaliers. But Paul already has taken on other restricted free agents such as Shabazz Muhammad – who has yet to sign a deal – and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – who had to take a deal from the Los Angeles Lakers for 18 million (well below his max).

The factors seem to be against Noel and his agent as NBA teams simply don’t have the cash to pay him a large deal. The Chicago Bulls have the most money on the table right now, sitting somewhere close to 17 million. The Sixers and the Suns have around 14-15 million left and, keep in mind, that Noel’s max, 24.7 million dollars a year, is simply un-payable by any NBA team. Dallas is playing the waiting game. and why shouldn’t they? Dallas is the real threat in Noel’s plan to sign a max contract. If Noel can’t find a contract by the start of the season, then he will be faced with the inevitable; sign the qualifying offer from Dallas (worth about 6 million) and play one year. Then, at the end of the season, he become an unrestricted free agent and search for that max contract.

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