Nerlens Noel will have surgery on his thumb and miss “several weeks,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle told the media on Wednesday. It is not immediately clear what caused the injury, and Noel hasn’t played more than six minutes in a game since Nov. 4. He is not a part of the team’s rotation.
This surgery does have implications on the team’s ability to trade him if they so choose, depending on the severity of his injury. He is available to be traded on Dec. 15.
Why would Dallas trade him?
Noel started a hot dog controversy on Monday, after he wandered into the Mavericks’ media room at halftime to grab a bite. That’s a really unusual move for any player, but it was likely more of a statement from him. He was the only Dallas player not to play in that game, and that’s something he’s growing accustomed to.
He’s clearly not a long-term fit with the team after turning down a four-year, $70 million contract in the offseason. He wanted a maximum deal.
Any team that trades for him needs to be wary, though, as he’s on a deal set to expire this summer. It’s clear Noel needs out of Dallas, though.