• Nerlens Noel is traveling with the Mavs, after being away in order to have thumb surgery, but he vows to “come back swinging.”

    The big man admitted that the injury was bothering him way before he had the surgery to fix a torn ligament near his left thumb. He has been back to Cleveland once to have the cast changed out. Other than that, he’s been waiting to start doing whatever doctors will allow him to do. There hasn’t been a timetable provided for his recovery while Maxi Kleber has earned Rick Carlisle’s confidence. Noel can only be viewed as a luxury stash but owners should keep any eye on potential trade rumors that could change his rest of season outlook.

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