The Mavs free agent plans are now completely in focus: the team has no intent to overpay to keep Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and J.J. Barea, and all three are likely to sign elsewhere as a result. It’s an unfortunate development given all that the Mavs accomplished last year, but again, I find it hard to fault Mark Cuban for his reluctance to lock up the team’s finances for the next four to five years.
As such, the Mavs currently have just 10 players under contract. Lower-salary free agents like Brian Cardinal, DeShawn Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic could end up returning to Dallas, but the Mavs would still need a few more pieces if they wished to completely round out their roster. There aren’t many means through which Dallas can pick up free agents at this point; any players courted would need to be candidates for either the taxpayer mid-level exception (a $3 million window that can be used to sign players to deals for up to three years) or the veteran’s minium. With that in mind, here are some of the names that have popped up in connection with the Mavs:
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With the unofficial, metaphorical ink on the tentative CBA structure beginning to dry, we’ll take to look at how the new agreement impacts the Dallas Mavericks teams of today and tomorrow.
The NBA’s owners entered collective bargaining with several specific goals in mind. Among them: to limit the flexibility of taxpaying teams as much as possible, creating a systemic conflict between high payrolls and roster freedom. As a part of that objective, the new agreement includes a completely remodeled set of salary cap exceptions that reward teams for staying under the tax line, and restrict the free agent involvement of spend-happy clubs like the Mavericks. Dallas will likely be a luxury taxpayer again next season; so the franchise has been for the last six-plus years, and so they may be for the next several. Such is the price of keeping this particular contending core in place. Mark Cuban will be mindful of the wrath of the repeater tax, but that likely won’t stop him from keeping his team in tax territory for the first two seasons of the new collective bargaining agreement, during which he’ll only face a $1-for-$1 luxury tax penalty akin to that of the previous CBA. Cuban has shown a willingness to foot the bill on that tax, but would be understandably reluctant to pay according to the exorbitant demands of the more demanding luxury tax rules that will become active for the 2013-2014 season. But the Mavs’ taxpaying status will still affect their offseason plans on a more immediate timeline. According to a memo detailing the tentative agreement between the players and owners (via SI.com), taxpaying teams will no longer have access to the league’s mid-level exception (a salary cap exception used to sign free agents for up to around $5 million per season); instead, they’ll be forced to make do with the “taxpayer mid-level exception,” a provision that allows for the signing of a free agent to a deal up to three years in length (rather than four) starting at a mere $3 million. Read more of this article »