Post-Parsons, Mavs Moves By The Moment
On the roster, or committed to be, the Dallas Mavericks currently have 13 players (either already on the roster, or committed):
C - TY, Smith (trade coming), Sarge (signing coming)
PF - Dirk (signing coming), Wright
SF - Parsons, Jefferson (signing coming), Crowder
SG - Ellis, Ledo
PG - Felton, Harris (signing coming), Mekel
NOTE ON ABOVE - Sarge and Jefferson will get minimum salary deals. The precise starting numbers for Dirk, Parsons, and Harris are only approximately known, until they are on the books.
1 Increase the cap room?
There's a theoretical possibility that the Mavs could (and might want to) find a trade partner willing to take a secondary player that the Mavs would prefer to replace, in a giveaway trade. The most likely candidates would probably be Felton and/or Wright.
If it happened, the Mavs could increase their available cap room to 5M or more if they sent away Felton, and to over 10M if they gave up Wright as well.
2 Use some cap room without using it.
In the process of clearing out cap room for the offer for Parsons, the Mavs had to remove most or all of the cap holds to retain rights for their own free agents.
But as long as they haven’t yet signed Dirk or Devin, they may still be able to reap some gain from the open space on their cap.
As We noted late Sunday afternoon: If a player like Marion or Blair, for example, wanted to sign with a team that had a trade exception but no cap room, the Mavs – as long as they have the space – can sign marion (or Blair) to that deal and send him out to the other team via the sign-and-trade process. By using a trade exception, the other team would have no need to send back salary to trade-match.
The benefit to the Mavs would be two-fold: (1) they would be helping a member of the Mav family get a better deal, and (2) they would be compensated (as negotiated) with a pick, cash, rights to a player overseas, or the like. This process is also doable if the other team didn’t have a trade exception, but could send matching salary to a 3rd team in the trade. The key issue for the Mavs is the ability to use the cap room on Marion, and then instantly erase the cap cost.
Note that this sort of move is only doable as long as Dirk remains unsigned, leaving that big salary slot empty. (And a late-night footnote: Our "Use some cap room without using it'' maybe playing out much like illustrated here, Marc Stein reporting a Blair-to-Wiz swap being possible.)
3 Spend the uncommitted cap room
The next thing the Mavs will do is to spend the rest of their cap room. Working on the assumption that they don't increase it via trade, by our count they still have somewhere between 1M and 1.5M available.
One way they could use this is to place a bid on an amnesty player. In particular, Carlos Boozer, assuming he is put on the list.
It is possible that the Mavs could go ahead and sign Dirk and Devin first, but if they wish to place a bid on Boozer, it would be better to leave those salaries unknown so that other teams won't know exactly what the Mavs have to bid with.
Other than that, such a sum of cap room is little more than the minimum for a veteran player, but it could be used on a rookie prospect to offer a 3 or 4 year deal with little guarantee in the last 2-3 years, if there's a kid in summer league they really like. Without cap room, the most you can offer is 2 years on a minimum deal.
It may take as long as the end of the amnesty-claiming period on July 19 before the Mavs finish this step.
4 Proceed with rest of their commitments
• sign Dirk and Devin (these MUST precede the minimum salary guys)
• sign Sarge
• sign Jefferson
• trade for G Smith
5 At the end it gets murky.
At this point, they will be over the cap and have 14 slots full, with the room MLE of 2.732M available.
They might simply fill that last slot using the MLE, maybe on a combo guard that can shoot. Or, if they didn't get Boozer, they might spend it on help at backup PF.
Or, if they are less-than-sold on Felton, they might try to swing a trade for another PG or combo G that can make them better, with Felton and perhaps Wright as the pieces. If they play their cards right, could they package together enough salary and value to satisfy Phoenix and Eric Bledsoe to have him sent here in a sign-and-trade?
In any event, there could be a trade, a room MLE signing, or maybe nothing at all at the tail end of the road.
By this time next week, we should have a fairly good idea of what the Mavs' roster will look like for the season ahead, but most of those pieces are already lined up.