Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel and Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha both received five-game suspensions Tuesday for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy, the AP reported.
Noel, whose suspension begins Tuesday night against Portland and will cover the final five games of the season, will not play again until next year, as the lottery-bound Mavs will not make the playoffs. The ban caps a disappointing campaign for the 23-year-old. He failed to reach a long-term deal with Dallas last offseason and ended up signing for one year at $4.1 million. His time on the court was equally dismal. Noel appeared in just 30 games, missing significant playing time after tearing a ligament in his thumb as well as differences with head coach Rick Carlisle. On the season, he averaged 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Meanwhile, Sefolosha, 33, had MCL surgery on his right knee in January and is not scheduled to return until the 2018-19 season. His suspension will reportedly begin when he is ruled eligible to play. In the first year of a two-year deal worth $10.5 million, Sefolosha was averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in 38 appearances before the injury. The $5.2 million salary Sefolosha is scheduled to make next season will reported only become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived before July 1.