Center Nerlens Noel, who turned down a four-year, $70 million contract from the Dallas Mavericks before eventually settling for the one-year qualifying offer, did not play in Saturday’s 111-104 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers because of a coach’s decision.
Coach Rick Carlisle, who mentioned that matchups made it difficult for traditional centers to play against Cleveland, said that Salah Mejri had earned playing time over Noel at this point. “Look, minutes have to be earned,” Carlisle said. “At this point, if it’s between him and Salah, Salah has earned the minutes. There’s no doghouse here. There just isn’t. It’s pretty simple: You compete, and if you earn minutes, you get minutes. And you’ve got to compete to keep them, because it’s a competitive situation.”
Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN
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