Reports: Nerlens Noel has gained interest from Dallas Mavericks 

Detroit Pistons Media Day
Detroit Pistons' media day: Nerlens Noel

Veteran backup center Nerlens Noel could be headed back to a familiar place. Per NBA reporter Ian Begley, the Dallas Mavericks have reached out to the Detroit Pistons about Noel's availability.

Noel is familiar with the organization as he played for the Mavericks from 2016-2018.

Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons touched base recently on trade talks in which Nerlens Noel’s name came up, per @IanBegley

The 10-year veteran has only appeared in six games for the Pistons this season. The team has a logjam at the position with Isaiah Stewart and rookie Jalen Duren also on the roster. The Pistons may also want some relief from Noel’s $9 million salary this season.

Begley did not provide any word on potential compensation for Nerlens Noel from the Mavericks.

Dallas could use Noel as a backup for Christian Wood and add some defensive depth. He would also have to share time with veteran JaVale McGee. The backup McGee has not fit in that well with the Mavericks this season and is only playing 8.8 minutes per game.

The underutilized Noel is averaging 1.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and only 10.3 minutes per game, which are all well below his career averages. Noel is a former first-round pick who has career averages of 7.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 1.5 blocks per game. He is a good defensive presence and rim protector.

Noel was drafted sixth by the New Orleans Hornets in 2013 but traded on draft night for Jrue Holiday, Pierre Jackson and a 2014 first-round pick.

Will the Mavericks make a move?

The Dallas Mavericks (13-11) are currently seventh in the Western Conference and third in the Southwest Division behind the Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans. The team may need to make a move before the Feb. 9 trade deadline. Star guard Luka Doncic has been playing at a high level this season, but he may need some help to get the team to the next level.

The team lost Jalen Brunson in the offseason via free agency and have not found a suitable second option behind Doncic. The Mavericks have a few solid players who could be used to create a good trade package for a team ready to unload star-caliber players.

It be a while before any team is willing to make any big trades. The standings are tight as of now and even teams near the bottom of the standings are only a few games behind the top teams in each conference. By February, however, the buyers and sellers should be more obvious.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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