The Dallas Mavericks will prioritize the signing of center Nerlens Noel in the summer. Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Mavericks will first try to retain Noel before pursuing free-agent point guard Jrue Holiday. The 23-year-old Noel will be a restricted free agent this summer, meaning the Mavericks have the right to match whatever offer that he will receive.

The Mavericks shipped Justin Anderson and center Andrew Bogut to the Philadelphia 76ers for Noel during last season’s trade deadline. In 22 games with the Mavericks, Noel tallied 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Aside from Noel, the Mavericks have no other option at center.

Before joining the Mavericks, Noel averaged 11.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.8 blocks per game in 29 games with the 76ers.

The Mavericks will also try to pursue Holiday, who averaged 15.4 points, 7.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game last season with the Pelicans. If it fails, Dallas will have insurance in Dennis Smith, which it drafted No. 9 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Noel wants to stay with Mavericks

During his exit interview, Noel said he enjoyed his stay in Dallas and he wants to be back next season with the Mavericks. “With the pieces that we have, and the opportunities we'll be seeing in the near future, I think there's a lot to be excited for," said Noel. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle also expressed interest in bringing back the young center next season.

However, the Mavericks will have to thwart offers from other teams to keep Noel. Mike Fisher of Scout.com said several teams may try to sign Noel to a maximum four-year, $109 million offer sheet. The Mavericks, for their part, can offer Noel up to $146 million over five years.

Mavs to decline Nowitzki option but will sign him

The Mavericks have declined the $25 million option on future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki’s contract but plan on signing him to a new deal that will keep him in Dallas for his 20th NBA season. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Mavericks plan to sign Nowitzki to a two-year contract.

Nowitzki struggled last season due to injuries, averaging just 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. The 13-time All-Star missed 28 games due to injuries while the Mavericks finished 11th in the West with a 33-49 mark.

During his stint with the Mavericks, Nowitzki won the MVP trophy during the 2006-07 season and led the team to its first championship in 2011. Currently, he’s sixth on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 30,260 points. In his career, Nowitzki is 21.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!