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NBA Free Agency Rumors: Multiple NBA teams willing to offer Nerlens Noel max contract

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Get that paper, Nerlens.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

News is mostly quiet on the Sixers’ front, but an old friend appears to be on his way to a massive raise this summer. According to a report from Mike Fisher of Scout.com, NBA teams are going to show Nerlens Noel the money this summer.

Here’s what Fisher had to say:

One of the newspapers recently wrote that restricted free agent Nerlens Noel "could command $13-to-$15 mil'' as a starting salary.

Meanwhile, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle labels the center a team "priority.''

It would seem that both of the above things cannot be true.

A source from another NBA team (not the Mavs) tells me that there will be "multiple'' clubs willing to pay Noel his max once he hits the restricted-free-agent market on July 1.

Obligatory disclaimer: take all rumors like this with a grain of salt this time of year. Agents and teams are in a constant fight for leverage, so each side tends to leak things as they’re convenient to their cause.

As Fisher notes in his piece, a max contract for Noel under the current salary cap would come out to over $25 million a year as his starting salary, pushing to about $108 million over a four year deal with annual five-percent raises. That’s a lot of money for Noel, but he’s also the sort of player that commands a lot of money—he’s talented, with discernible skills that aid successful NBA teams, and he’s young enough to still have plenty of theoretical upside to grow into.

This raises a couple of points specific to the Sixers’ trade of Noel. Bryan Colangelo knew this was a possibility when he dealt the young center, and knowing that made it much harder to just keep Noel and match whatever salary he was offered. The flip side of that is that Colangelo got almost nothing in return for a player who may sign a max extension following his rookie contract, which reflects poorly on how he handled the trade situation last summer and at the deadline.

Ultimately, it hurts that the Sixers squandered a player with considerable value like Noel, but if things break right for their core pieces, hopefully it won’t matter. And if you want to cut us a check, Nerlens, feel free to hit the emails in the masthead.