The athletic big man signed the one-year, $4.1 million qualifying offer and will become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason of 2018, sources told ESPN.
The offer sheet was signed in Los Angeles this week, according to sources.
Noel, 23, recently switched agents, hiring LeBron James‘ agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group after a summer in which he was unable to fashion an acceptable multiyear deal from the Mavericks or garnish an offer sheet elsewhere.
A reported $17 million offer from Dallas was nonexistent in any form, according to sources close to Noel, though team sources say a four-year, $70 million contract was offered to Noel on July 1.
After the closing of the restricted free-agent marketplace, Paul agreed to represent Noel with the understanding that he’d pursue unrestricted free agency next year.
Sources close to Noel, who confirmed the signing of the qualifying offer, maintain this decision should not be viewed as an adversarial move and insist that it allows both parties to evaluate a larger body of work and then assign a proper valuation for Noel after the upcoming season.
Noel averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steal in 22 minutes per game for the Mavericks after arriving in Dallas at the trade deadline. The Mavs gave up 2015 first-round pick Justin Anderson, Andrew Bogut (who was then bought out) and a pair of first-round picks to acquire Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Noel, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft, welcomed a fresh start in Dallas after an up-and-down tenure in Philadelphia.
The 6-foot-11 Noel, whose combination of leaping ability, mobility, quick hands, rim running and rim protection instincts gives him the potential to be a premier defender, averaged 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks in 171 games for Philadelphia.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.