After what has seemed like an eternity, Nerlens Noel has finally agreed to a contract with the Dallas Mavericks. The deal, a one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer, comes just days after Noel switched agents to negotiate a “better” contract.

The 23-year-old reportedly turned down a multi-year deal from Dallas that was worth $17.5 million per year on average. However, the facts surrounding that contract offer still seem to be a bit cloudy:

Noel was openly seeking a max contract despite his injury history and no real stats to back up his demands. He’s a terrific player and still shows a lot of potential, but so far it just hasn’t come full-circle for him.

With the NBA salary cap continuing to rise at a great rate, free agents are making more and more each offseason. For some reference, the reported four-year, $70 million offer that Noel turned down, isn’t much more than that of Timofey Mozgov. By simply signing a one-year deal, Noel now has the opportunity to have a career-year in 2017-18 and then sign for much more next offseason.

For a young player without a ton of experience, this is certainly a big gamble. However, with his skillset, Nerlens Noel can still be a special player. His offensive game has yet to take a big step, but with 30+ minutes a night, he’s a double-double machine with elite interior defense.

On the surface, it may seem crazy that Noel signed such a small contract, whether the reported multi-year deal was real or not. But after digging a little deeper, it’s easy to see what Noel and his new agent, Rich Paul, are doing; banking on Nerlens to have a breakout season.

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