Overconfident German Man Living In Los Angeles Makes A Seventy Million Dollar Mistake

Up until this year the single worst decision in NBA contract history was probably Nerlens Noel. Noel has been in the news because he just signed a 3 year $32 million contract with the New York Knicks. I was happy for him, he played well this past year and is an underrated big man and rim protector. 

But mostly I was happy for him because good lord, the man once fucked himself in an epic way on the free agent market.

How bad was it? Season 8 Game of Thrones bad. 

It was the summer of 2017 when Noel turned down 4 years and $70 million from the Mavericks, who had picked him up from the Sixers on an expiring, because he thought he’d command a lot more on the open market.


They say you should bet on yourself, but here’s a thought. Maybe every now and then, don’t?

Sometimes it’s best to just take the money. 

Noel signed a one year deal with the Mavs on a $4.1m qualifying offer so he could become a free agent the following year. That year he was injured, played 30 games, and then found the market after the season SOFT. How soft?

Nerlens ended up signing … for two years and $3.7 million with Oklahoma City.

Yep. You know, the NBA’s scrap yard for players looking to rebuild their careers. God bless Sam Presti.

The happy ending is that Noel ended up getting paid well but it took another four years to get it, so it’s safe to say he regrets turning down the bag.

Why are we talking about it now? 

Dennis Schröder is reported to be signing a “short term” contract with the Boston Celtics. The pair are looking at a one or two year deal that takes advantage of Boston’s TPE from Gordon Hayward, which is now less than $11 million. 

Here’s where I remind everyone that Schroder turned down a 4 year and $84 million extension this season with the Lakers.

A move that I thought was absolutely BONKERS in the moment. 

I think the Celtics would be INSANE to lock him down for more than a year, as they are clearly all in on the Beal sweepstakes in 2022 and will need all the cap flexibility they can get.

Like Nerlens Noel, Dennis had what can only be considered questionable? representation. Any functioning agent could look at the free agent class coming out of this season and see it was a plethora of point guards. The chances that he’d be left holding the bag instead of getting were too high to risk turning down $21 million a year. But here we are, with Dennis hoping against hope the Celtics decide he’s worth what’s left of a TPE.

The moral of the story is, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or in this case: Besser den Spatz in der Hand als die Taube auf dem Dach.