The Mavericks aren’t expected to engage in a full-fledged fire sale before this Thursday’s trade deadline, but the team appears to be focused on the future as they mull potential roster moves. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link), team owner Mark Cuban said on Monday that Dallas is willing to take on cumbersome contracts this week if draft picks are attached to those deals.
Salary-dump trades in which teams take on contracts and receive a draft pick or two for their troubles aren’t uncommon. In fact, one such deal has received extra attention this week — the Sixers and Kings completed such a swap back in 2015, with Philadelphia taking on a few contracts from Sacramento and receiving first-round swap rights in 2016 and 2017 in the deal, along with an unprotected 2019 pick. That now looks like an especially prescient move on the Sixers’ behalf.
The Mavs may not be in a position to make a deal like that, if only because the team doesn’t have the necessary cap room to absorb a salary without sending money out in return. In fact, Dallas is so far over the cap that the team is only about $1MM from going into the tax. As such, a more realistic scenario involving the Mavs would see Cuban’s club taking on an unwieldy long-term contract in exchange for a shorter-term deal, and getting a pick out of the exchange.
In addition to accommodating salary dumps, the Mavs are believed to be exploring moving veterans who aren’t part of their long-term plans, including perhaps Andrew Bogut. According to Mike Fisher of Scout.com, a league source believes that Bogut will be a fallback option for the Celtics at the deadline if Danny Ainge is unable to land a big fish.
Fisher suggests the Mavs could get a future first-round pick in such a deal, though a Boston Globe report from earlier today indicated that Boston will be reluctant to part with a first-rounder in a trade for a role player. The Bogut scenario with the Celtics would perhaps be a good spot for Dallas to take on an unwanted contract in order to get a first-round pick, but there aren’t any expendable, overpaid players on long-term deals on Boston’s roster.