5:00pm: Dallas has officially placed Mekel on waivers, the team has announced.
WEDNESDAY, 4:00pm: The Mavs intend to waive Mekel once Barea officially clears waivers today, reports Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
TUESDAY, 6:10pm: Mavs owner Mark Cuban confirmed that Mekel would be the odd man out if Barea clears waivers and returns to Dallas, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
MONDAY, 2:26pm: The Mavs will waive point guard Gal Mekel to accommodate their planned signing of J.J. Barea, a source tells Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link). The move is presumably contingent on Barea clearing waivers, which seems highly likely given Barea’s guaranteed salary of nearly $4.52MM for this season, though that’s just my speculation. In any case, the Mavs would be on the hook for minimum salaries both this year and next for Mekel should he clear waivers. Dallas couldn’t defray Mekel’s salary of more than $816K for this year using the Stretch Provision, but the team could spread the $947K and change that he’s owed for 2015/16 over a period of three years.
The Mavs had reportedly been trying to trade Mekel in an effort to clear roster space without eating guaranteed salary, but those efforts have apparently come up short. The point guard, now 26, saw action in just 31 games for Dallas as a rookie last season, averaging 2.4 points in 9.4 minutes per game. The Israeli native went undrafted in 2009, but the Mavs signed him to a fully guaranteed three-year contract for the minimum salary in 2013 after he won a championship with Israel’s Maccabi Bazan Haifa that season and drew attention from several other NBA teams.
The Dallas roster would remain at 15 as a result of releasing Mekel and adding Barea, though Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports wrote 10 days ago that the Mavs were seeking to open up a spot beneath the 15-man regular season maximum in his report about the team’s interest in trading Mekel. Charlie Villanueva‘s non-guaranteed contract gives Dallas some degree of flexibility, however. It remains to be seen whether the Mavs will guarantee any salary in Barea’s pact.