The Mavs are optimistic that they’ll be on the list of teams that Carmelo Anthony plans to meet with this summer and that he’ll give them legitimate consideration, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Dallas will also try to acquire another Knick, with Stein asserting that they’ll be first in line should New York make Tyson Chandler available via trade. The Mavs will attempt to court LeBron James, too, though Stein suggests that’s a longshot effort.
Dallas only has about $28.2MM in commitments for next season, but that doesn’t include the roughly $2MM non-guaranteed portion of Samuel Dalembert‘s contract or new deals for Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Devin Harris. The team has expressed interest in keeping all of them, and the team’s “working assumption,” according to Stein, is that Nowitzki will sign for $10-12MM per year. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for a max offer to Anthony, who can draw a starting salary of up to $22,458,401. Still, Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote Monday that the Mavs wouldn’t have interest in ‘Melo if he demands his max.
While the Mavs could net Chandler as part of a sign-and-trade involving Anthony, that would be extremely difficult, given Chandler’s salary of nearly $14.6MM next season. The reacquisition of the center who was the defensive anchor of the Mavs’ 2011 title team would probably preclude Anthony from heading to Dallas, and it would make it difficult for the Mavs to accommodate any other marquee free agent this summer. Stein reiterates McMahon’s report from yesterday indicating that the Mavs will likely target Luol Deng but take a pass on any pursuit of Lance Stephenson.
The Mavs have some concern about their ability to keep a couple of their own free agents, too, according to Stein. They’re worried that they’d have to cut deeply into their cap flexibility to fend off suitors for Vince Carter and, in particular, Shawn Marion. Carter and Marion have expressed their preference to re-sign, though such statements are commonplace for soon-to-be free agents at this time of year, and they don’t always translate into a new deal that keeps them in place.