The Dallas Mavericks can’t invest in long-term prospects and have seen the few possible short-term fixes pass them by. It’s a sad, treadmilled existence; the level of now-mandatory prudence keeps the Mavs in fine financial shape, but that alone doesn’t mean that they’re getting anywhere. The past week has demonstrated the tremendous risk involved in leveraging cap space, and yet Dallas has little option save to keep their books clear and try again.
But in the meantime, Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson will surely clad all kinds of rentals in Maverick blue. Dallas is very much in the running for an amnestied Elton Brand, among other targets, but the first solidified get is Dirk Nowitzki’s kind-of-German national teammate, Chris Kaman, who according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, has agreed to terms on a one-year, $8 million deal. There’s not much flare to the pick-up, and not much potential; it’s a move designed solely to keep Dirk sane and the team’s head above water, and Kaman is a useful addition in both regards.
Kaman provides an instant upgrade over Brendan Haywood, who, per ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon, will be amnestied in short order to give the Mavs a chance to properly chase Brand through the amnesty waiver process. Cutting Haywood loose gives Dallas even more financial flexibility and short-term mobility; a total of $37.7 million is wiped from the Mavs’ cap sheet over the next four seasons, including an erased hit of $7.6 million in 2012-2013. There’s not too much to be done with that gained salary margin save to bid on Brand, but Nelson and Cuban surely have a list of stopgaps in their pocket to fill out the rest of a barren roster. There’s still much work to be done, uninspiring though it might be; this is the first summer in some time that the Mavs make their moves without the title even in view, and while that may be disheartening to some, it’s the unavoidable state of Dallas’ present. Your 2013 Dallas Mavericks will be loaners and filler and rotational scabs, and while Kaman is among the best available in that regard, his signing and the signings to come can’t undo the risk taken and the damage done. The Mavericks are stuck, but this is them doing the best they can.