Count Dirk Nowitzki among those who are excited the Dallas Mavericks acquired center Nerlens Noel in a Thursday morning trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In recent weeks, the Mavericks moved Nowitzki from his customary power forward position and instead started him at the center position. But now the center spot will be handled by Noel, while Nowitzki can return to the position that helped him become one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Noel (6-11,228) has mostly had an injury-proned career. But in 29 games this season he’s averaged 8.9 points and five rebounds in only 19.4 minutes per contest. He provides the Mavericks with help in the middle of coach Rick Carlisle’s style of play, which is where they desperately need it.
"Hopefully, he’ll get adjusted quick, and overall we’ll try to help him,’’ Nowitzki said. "We all know coach Carlisle’s playbook is pretty thick, a lot of stuff happening.
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"So hopefully he can keep it simple for him at the beginning and he can get accustomed to our play pretty quick, and then he can help us.’’
The Mavericks acquired Noel for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick.