All NBA teams must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 15 players by Monday afternoon, but the leaguewide deadline for cuts was essentially Thursday because players need 48 business to clear waivers.
The Mavs also waived swingmen Rashad McCants and Sean Williams.
McCants and Williams were signed earlier this week to audition for the Mavs and undergo physicals. Under a new rule instituted by the NBA starting this season, Dallas' D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco can claim the rights to three of the four players released Thursday for the coming season as long as their D-League rights were not previously held by another team.
McCants and Williams are both expected to sign with the Texas Legends -- who will be coached by Nancy Lieberman and who are co-owned by Mavs president Donnie Nelson -- after clearing waivers next week.
After initial indications that the Mavericks would keep only Cardinal or Novak and leave one roster spot open, management decided to keep both, meaning Dallas will begin the season with 15 players.
Cardinal was always considered the favorite, sources said, but Novak came on strong as the preseason progressed.