• Nerlens Noel has undergone surgery on his injured thumb and Mavs beat writer Earl K. Sneed reports there is no timetable for his return.

    With that, anyone who was still holding onto Noel can probably give up the ghost. He’s not a lock to get back into the rotation even after he returns, even though it’d be wise of the Mavs to at least get a legitimate look at a young guy with upside. Looking further into the future, Noel will be one of the more interesting names to track in free agency. He was angling for a max deal last summer but ended up accepting a qualifying offer when no offer sheets came his way. Noel is obviously an astute defender and is still quite young, so he should get some offers but he’s basically going to be spending a year on the sidelines and won’t be faced with a huge payday.

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