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    Mavs center Nerlens Noel, Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha handed five-game drug suspensions

    Apr 4, 2018

    NEW YORK — Dallas Mavericks center Nerlens Noel and Utah Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha have been suspended five games for violating the NBA's anti-drug program.

    The league announced the suspensions on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time). Noel's ban will cover the final five games of the season for the lottery-bound Mavericks, starting on Tuesday night against Portland.

    Sefolosha had surgery on the MCL in his right knee in January and hasn't returned. His suspension will begin in the next regular-season or playoff game when he is eligible and physically able to play.

    Noel's suspension ends a lost season for a player trying to earn a long-term contract after failed negotiations last offseason resulted in him signing the team's qualifying offer of just $4.1 million for one year.

    Noel played just 30 games, with most of the missed time coming after surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb in December. He averaged 4.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in 16 minutes a game in his fourth season in the league.

     

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