More bad news for Nerlens Noel in a contract year.
The Mavericks 23-year-old center who has already fallen out of the regular rotation and is only averaging four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes per game, will now be out of action for four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his thumb.
Here is the update according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:
“Noel will fly from Boston to Cleveland on Thursday to meet with a hand specialist and will have surgery Friday, the Mavericks said. He will likely miss about four to six weeks, but the hope is that Noel will be back on the court before the trade deadline.
“It’s not anything crazy,” Noel said. “It’s a pretty common injury for a basketball player. I’m just going to get it taken care of. I showed it to the trainers and they said, that it’s not right. They said I should probably get some surgery and get it fixed up now.
“I can play basketball with it. A couple guys in here have had it.”
The relationship between Dallas and Noel has been going south for a while now and this new hiccup will only further separate him from the team and the opportunity to get back into the rotation, as the Mavericks are actually 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Noel needs to return and flash some sort of skill as a rim protector or pick-and-roll defender and change the narrative on his work ethic by the end of the season or risk having to play for near a minimum contract next season.
Not exactly where many thought the former top recruit in the country in his class would be five years into his NBA career.