Dallas Mavericks

Mavs Don’t Plan To Offer Max To Chandler Parsons

Chandler Parsons is heading for free agency after turning down his player option for 2016/17 with the Mavericks, and while Dallas has interest in bringing back the veteran forward, the team has made it clear to Parsons that it doesn’t intend to offer him a max contract, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com. Parsons’ camp, meanwhile, remains confident that he’ll command a max deal on the open market.

[RELATED: Mavs prioritizing Hassan Whiteside, Mike Conley in free agency]

A report earlier this week indicated that the Mavericks’ top targets in free agency will be Hassan Whiteside and Mike Conley, and that the team would be willing to part ways with Parsons if it can acquire those two players. Dallas is willing to take the risk of Parsons reaching a deal with another team while the Mavs pursue their top targets, since Whiteside and Conley are believed to have interest in Dallas, says MacMahon.

If Parsons does leave Dallas, the Mavericks could pursue a replacement in free agency. MacMahon reports that Evan Fournier, Kent Bazemore, Evan Turner, and Marvin Williams are among the players the Mavs are looking at, assuming they have cap room to spend on a small forward. If they don’t have that spending flexibility, the Mavs wouldn’t mind having Justin Anderson taking on a larger role at the position.

As for Parsons, he will be “all ears” when potential suitors come calling in free agency, and looks forward to exploring his options, sources tell MacMahon. Despite undergoing multiple surgical procedures on his knee, Parsons has received clearance to resume basketball activities and multiple orthopedic specialists have expressed optimism that his knee trouble won’t derail or jeopardize his career.

Draft Rumors: Nuggets, Celtics, Sixers, Dunn

With the 2016 NBA draft just minutes from getting underway, let’s round up some of the latest rumors from around the league…

  • According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (via Twitter), league executives are saying that many teams with mid-to-late first-round picks are making a “great effort” to move those selections. Already today, the Pacers have moved the No. 20 pick and the Hornets have traded No. 22.
  • The Nuggets made an effort to move up to No. 3, but felt that the Celtics were asking for too much, reports NBA.com’s David Aldridge (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics aren’t considering Croatian big man Dragan Bender with the third overall pick in the draft, reports Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. Boston instead appears to be “increasingly drawn to” Providence point guard Kris Dunn. The Sixers also like Dunn a lot, and are engaged in last-minute talks with Boston, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
  • The Suns, who have frequently been linked to Marquese Chriss at No. 4, are giving “increasing consideration” to Bender at that spot, tweets ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Meanwhile, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports that Phoenix is also gauging the value of that No. 4 pick in the event that Dunn is still on the board, since it sounds like there are a few teams coveting the point guard.
  • Donnie Nelson of the Mavericks thinks the draft is “a little light” in the first round, but “heavy” in the second round, and says the team is excited about the No. 46 pick. Nelson added that Dallas hasn’t ruled out trying to get into the first round for the right player (all Twitter links via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com).

Mavs Prioritizing Whiteside, Conley In Free Agency

The Mavericks are eyeing Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley, making those two players their top targets as free agency approaches, according to Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Both players are expected to command maximum-salary contracts, and Dallas is willing to pay that price for either player, sources tell the ESPN duo.

Per ESPN’s report, the Mavericks expect to have the opportunity to meet with Whiteside during the opening hours of free agency in July. The Heat have been considered the frontrunner to re-sign their pending free agent, but Dallas will be among the teams given the chance to make a pitch to him once the recruiting period begins. MacMahon and Stein identify the Trail Blazers as another club expected to make a push for Whiteside.

As for Conley, he may be open to leaving Memphis if the Grizzlies are unwilling to offer him a fifth year. Because the Grizzlies hold the point guard’s Bird Rights, they’re the only club that can offer five years instead of four, and Conley wants them to do so if he ends up re-signing, according to MacMahon and Stein. A source tells the ESPN duo that San Antonio and Dallas are among the teams that would appeal to the 28-year-old if he leaves Memphis — his interest in the Mavericks is in large part due to his respect for head coach Rick Carlisle.

As the Mavs pursue Conley and Whiteside, it’s worth considering that Conley’s maximum salary over a four-year deal figures to be about $20MM more than Whiteside’s, since he has a few more years of NBA experience.

MacMahon also notes (on Twitter) that technically Kevin Durant remains the Mavericks’ top target in free agency, but suggests that the team is being realistic about its chances of luring KD to Dallas.

Deron Williams Opts Out Of Mavericks Deal

Deron Williams is the latest Maverick to inform the team of his decision to opt out, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki have also told the Mavs that they’re turning down their respective player options to sign new contracts.

[RELATED: Player option decisions for 2016/17]

We heard back in April that Williams intended to opt out of his contract this summer in order to seek a multiyear deal. At that time, reports indicated that the team and player had mutual interest in working out a new agreement that would allow Williams to return to Dallas. Once July 1st arrives, however, other teams will have the opportunity to make their own pitches to the veteran point guard.

Williams, who turns 32 on Sunday, appeared in 65 regular-season contests for the Mavericks in 2015/16, averaging 14.1 points, 5.8 assists, and 2.9 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game. While those numbers aren’t close to the ones Williams put up during his heyday in Utah, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson pointed to what he saw as a renewed sense of enthusiasm in the point guard’s play this past season.

Williams’ player option for 2016/17 would have paid him $5,621,026, but with the cap on the rise, there’s a very good chance he’ll be able to surpass that salary on the open market, and he should be able to lock in a deal for more than one year as well.

Chandler Parsons To Opt Out

Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons has decided to opt out of his deal and hit free agency this summer, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports (ESPN Now link). Parsons will now become an unrestricted free agent, despite team owner Mark Cuban’s attempts to convince him to opt in for the remaining year of his contract, MacMahon adds.

Parsons, 27, was set to earn $16,023,000 next season, but with the salary cap set to jump to approximately $94MM for 2016/17, it seems like a no-brainer for the player to test the open market this offseason. Securing a long-term pact is likely preferable to Parsons given his balky knee that required season-ending surgery back in May.

In 61 appearances for the Mavs this season, Parsons notched averages of 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 29.5 minutes per outing. His shooting line was .492/.414/.684. These numbers were certainly a step back for the player from previous campaigns, who has yet to prove he is capable of carrying a franchise and being a number one option on offense. That is certainly something for Dallas to consider when attempting to re-sign Parsons. Though, given then team’s difficulties landing top-tier free agents, it may not have any choice but to overpay in order to retain the forward if it hopes to remain competitive in the West.

Devin Harris Doesn't Expect Dirk To Leave Mavs

Dirk Nowitzki Won’t Exercise Player Option

Longtime Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has decided to turn down his player option for 2016/17, which will make him a free agent on July 1st, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). The option had been worth approximately $8.692MM.

While the Warriors are reportedly eyeing Nowitzki as a potential free agent target this offseason, it would be a major upset if the German big man signed with any team besides the Mavericks. His decision to opt out of his contract is likely about getting a multiyear deal in Dallas, rather than jumping ship for another team.

“It’s probably going to look like (I’ll opt out),” Nowitzki said earlier this month. “Since I felt great and played sort of decent, I might opt out and maybe sign a two- or three-year deal (with the Mavericks). We’ll see how it goes, but that’s probably the plan for now.”

At around the same time that Nowitzki made those comments, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “Dirk gets to do whatever he wants to do. Period.” If that involves heading to Golden State or another team in an attempt to get one last ring before he retires, the Mavs would presumably let him go and wish him luck, but for now it sounds like the 38-year-old would rather try to win that ring in Dallas.

With Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams expected to opt out of their contracts as well, the Mavericks currently only have about $29MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2016/17. That gives the team room to pursue top-tier free agents, though if Parsons, Williams, and Nowitzki all re-sign, that cap room could get chewed up quickly.

Warriors May Pursue Dirk Nowitzki

The Warriors could make a run at Dirk Nowitzki if they fail in their pursuit of top free agent target Kevin Durant, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myers have bounced around the idea of adding the Mavericks’ longtime franchise player, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent, Kawakami continues. Nowitzki made just $8,333,334 last season in a team-friendly deal that helped them sign free agents Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons. He is scheduled to make $8,692,184 next season.

Lacob told reporters after Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, including ESPN’s Marc Stein, that the club will be “very aggressive” in pursuing roster changes this offseason.

Nowitzki could be the team’s starting center in place of Andrew Bogut, or head the second unit as an upgrade over Marreese Speights or Festus Ezeli, Kawakami points out. However, landing Durant is the top priority while Nowitzki would be a next-­tier discussion for the Warriors, who are unsure if Nowitzki would seriously consider leaving Dallas after spending his entire career there, Kawakami adds.

As Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News recently reported, Nowitzki was leaning toward signing a two- or three-year deal with the Mavericks. But if Nowitzki believes the franchise is too far away from serious title contention, he may be persuaded to join a team like the Warriors in pursuit of a second ring. The Mavericks defeated the Heat in the 2011 Finals.

Dallas was 42-40 this past season and lost in the opening round of the playoffs after its top free agent target last summer, DeAndre Jordan, spurned them at the last minute and rejoined the Clippers.

Mavs Not Upset About Not Having First-Rounder

  • The Mavericks don’t have a first-round pick in this week’s draft, having traded it away to Boston, but president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson doesn’t sound disappointed about not holding that first-rounder, as Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News details. “I think this is actually not a bad draft to sit out,” Nelson said recently. “Next year’s draft is one that you’re not going to want to sit out.”

Offseason Outlook: Dallas Mavericks

Hoops Rumors is looking ahead to offseason moves for all 30 teams. We’ll examine free agency, the draft, trades and other key storylines for each franchise as the summer approaches.

State Of The Franchise

Not many experts and analysts believed the Mavs would make the playoffs this past season, but Dallas defied expectations and, indeed, made the postseason for the 15th time in the last 16 years. It was another first round exit for the Mavs, but considering the team experienced an odd summer and was again led by an aging star in Dirk Nowitzki, this had to be considered a success.

It appeared the Mavs on their way toward locking up DeAndre Jordan to their core of Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. Jordan, however, balked in the 11th hour and re-signed with the Clippers. The Mavs did land Wesley Matthews via free agency, though, and then  shifted gears by acquiring Zaza Pachulia in a salary dump from the Bucks. The Mavs made, perhaps, one of the shrewdest decisions of last summer by inking Deron Williams, who intends to opt out.

While Matthews was mostly inconsistent, Pachulia gave the Mavs pretty much what they could have expected and Williams over-performed in system that included other point guards J.J. Barea, Raymond Felton and Devin Harris. Nowitzki remained a capable player and dependable scorer by averaging 18.3 points per game and as long as the 38-year-old is still a fixture on the team, the Mavs will not be rebuilding. Instead, look for the Mavs to retool and add veteran talent. The Mavs will again need another steady season from Nowitzki, who is expected to opt out and re-sign, and above average contributions from the point guard position to exceed expectations. As it stands now, the Mavs must also address their rebounding deficiency; they ranked 19th in the league in rebounds per game and finished 26th in  rebounding percentage.

Free Agents

The salary cap puzzle for the Mavs this summer depends largely on three player options worth more than $30MM. Chandler Parsons will almost certainly decline his to seek more on the open market, and Nowitzki has said he plans to opt in as long as the Mavs don’t start a rebuilding project. Pachulia, Felton, Charlie Villanueva and David Lee will all hit the market as unrestricted free agents when free agency begins on July 1st. Second-year standout Dwight Powell will be a restricted free agent, giving the Mavs an opportunity to match any offer for the coveted young pro. Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has said that the front office will prioritize re-signing free agents, which makes considering the group seemed to mesh well together.

Williams, an 11-year veteran who turns 32 in June likely needs offseason surgery to address a sports hernia. The Jeff Schwartz client said in the aftermath of the Mavs’ playoff ouster this week that he’d love to return to Dallas, and coach Rick Carlisle said he’d also like to see him return. Nelson pointed to what he saw as a renewed sense of enthusiasm in Williams’ play this season, the first for Williams with the Mavericks

There is a decent chance Parsons finds a more lucrative deal on the open market if he opts out. He sustained another serious injury last season, but that should not stop Parsons from landing what is likely to be his final significant pay day. It will be interesting to see if the Mavs re-sign the versatile forward because they already have a stretch-four in Nowitzki. It seems likely Lee could garner some interest as a bench player from other teams after he thrived with Dallas late in the season. Look for Felton, who rejuvenated his career, to return on a cheap deal and Villanueva could return for the veteran minimum. With Salah Mejri and JaVale McGee on the roster, it would not be surprising if Powell did not return if he were to land a significant offer elsewhere.

Free Agent Targets

The Mavs can offer one max contract to free agents this summer and possibly a second if Nowitzki and Parsons follow Williams and opt out for next season, as Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post recently detailed. Dallas entered the offseason expecting to have at least $32MM to spend, but that number could rise closer to $60MM if Nowitzki, Parsons and Williams all opt out. Bontemps noted that Dallas is counting on landing an elite free agent this summer and added that owner Mark Cuban is trying to surround Nowitzki, who’s likely to remain, with as much talent as possible before he retires.

If the Mavs do not re-sign Williams, they would need an upgrade at point guard. Jeremy Lin, Brandon Jennings and Greivis Vasquez all would make sense as options. Dallas would also need a scorer on the wing and a veteran that comes to mind would be Eric Gordon. If the Mavs decide to splurge a bit, Nic Batum would not be a far-fetched option.

Draft Outlook

  • Second-round pick: 46th

The Mavericks do not own a first-round pick in the 2016 Draft, as that pick belongs to the Celtics as part of the Rajon Rondo deal. Barring a deal, the Mavs’ only pick is No. 46 in the second round, so Dallas is not expected to make a whole lot of noise here. Indiana forward Troy Williams and Maryland big man Robert Carter Jr. are two names to watch as they have been linked to the Mavs in workouts and meeting. Of note, Purdue center A.J. Hammons is the No. 46 ranked player in ESPN.com’s Chad Ford’s Top 100.

Final Take

Dallas seems to be in a similar position it was in heading into last summer. The Mavs still need to find an answer at point guard, would need another big man and are unsure what to expect on the wing. Look for the Mavs to re-sign the core group of their bench players and upgrade at point guard. Dallas needs someone on the roster to emerge as capable scorer to take some of the load off of Nowitzki. As long as Nowitzki is on the team, the front office will build a team that is in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents (Qualifying Offers/Cap Holds)

Unrestricted Free Agents (Cap Holds)

Projected Salary Cap: $92,000,000

The Basketball Insiders salary pages were used in the creation of this post.

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