While rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. showed plenty of promise, the Mavericks’ rebuild didn’t take a meaningful step forward on the court in 2017/18, as the team slipped from 33 wins in 2016/17 to just 24 this season. Dallas will head into the 2018 offseason as one of the few teams armed with meaningful cap room, but it will probably take more than just a single free agent signing to make the club competitive again before Dirk Nowitzki calls it a career.
Here’s where things currently stand for the Mavericks financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2018:
- Harrison Barnes ($24,107,258)
- Dwight Powell ($9,631,250)
- Dennis Smith Jr. ($3,819,960)
- J.J. Barea ($3,710,850)
- Total: $41,269,318
- Wesley Matthews ($18,622,514)
- Total: $18,622,514
- Dirk Nowitzki ($5,000,000)
- Total: $5,000,000
- Dorian Finney-Smith ($1,544,951)1
- Kyle Collinsworth ($1,378,242)2
- Maxi Kleber ($1,378,242)3
- Total: $4,301,435
Restricted Free Agents
- Doug McDermott ($4,333,931 qualifying offer / $9,884,982 cap hold): Bird rights
- Yogi Ferrell ($2,919,204 qualifying offer / $2,919,204 cap hold): Early Bird rights
- Salah Mejri ($1,839,228 qualifying offer / $1,839,228 cap hold): Bird rights
- Aaron Harrison ($1,753,640 qualifying offer / $1,753,640 cap hold): Non-Bird rights
- Total: $16,397,054
Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds
- Nerlens Noel ($7,956,438): Bird rights
- No. 3 overall pick ($6,504,619)4
- Seth Curry ($3,936,933): Early Bird rights
- Total: $18,397,990
Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000
Projected Cap Room: $29,615,683
- Our projection for the Mavericks includes the four players with guaranteed contracts, the tentative cap hold for their first-round pick, and Matthews’ player option, since he’s expected to pick it up. Throw in six cap charges for empty roster spots and the team’s projected salary is $71,384,298, leaving nearly $30MM to work with.
- There are a few wild cards to consider here. The cap hold for that first-round pick could fluctuate by nearly $2MM either way depending on the Mavs’ lottery luck. I’m also not including Nowitzki’s $5MM team option — if Dallas wants to maximize its cap room, it could decline that option and ultimately bring back Dirk on a minimum-salary deal, if he’s open to that.
- Creating the most possible cap room would also mean waiving non-guaranteed players like Finney-Smith and renouncing all the Mavs’ free agents, including McDermott, Curry, Ferrell, and Mejri. So in actuality, the Mavs could have far less space to work with, though it still should be enough to aggressively pursue a top restricted free agent.
- Finney-Smith’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 5.
- Collinsworth’s exact contract details, including guarantee dates, aren’t yet known.
- Kleber’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 15.
- The Mavericks are third in the draft lottery standings. They could end up picking anywhere from No. 1 ($8,095,595) to No. 6 ($4,823,489).
Note: Rookie scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.