One and done?: The year-to-year star search
The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of taking the short-term fan-player relationship to an all new level as they position the franchise under the new collective bargaining agreement. The plan, and they are sticking to it as owner Mark Cuban pointed out the other day, is to always preserve cap space for the following summer to be in the running for whichever franchise-making superstar might hit the open market.
Mavs fans have already gone through the despair of the one-and-done season of Tyson Chandler, the first casualty of the Mavs' new-era thinking. Delonte West could be next.
The emerging 2012-13 Dallas roster is full of players, by design, on one-year contracts. At the end of the season, those contracts will be off the books and the Mavs will be equipped with cap space to chase potential big-fish free agents Dwight Howard or Chris Paul or Andrew Bynum, and to a lesser extent James Harden or Serge Ibaka.
The Mavs have added five players so far this offseason. Three -- Elton Brand, Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones -- were acquired because they are all on the final year of their contracts. Chris Kaman was signed as a free agent to a one-year, $8 million contract. And the fifth, O.J. Mayo, essentially agreed to a one-year contract. His deal includes a second year, but it is a player option. He can opt out of the second year next summer and jump back into the free-agent market, something he would fully be expected to do so he can seek a larger deal either with the Mavs or another team.
Once Mayo's new deal is completed, the Mavs will have 11 players under contract, plus three rookies. Three will carry that status as of next July: Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter (whose 2013-14 season is only partially guaranteed). If the Mavs don't land a superstar next summer, then the plan, as it stands now, will be to do this all over again and fill the roster as competitively as possible with players on one-year arrangements.
Here's a look at the current 2012-13 roster and future status:
Dirk Nowitzki (signed through 2013-14)
Shawn Marion (signed through 2013-14)
Vince Carter (partially guaranteed through 2013-14)
Chris Kaman (signed through 2012-13)
Darren Collison (Restricted free agent after 2012-13)
Dahntay Jones (signed through 2012-13)
Brandan Wright (signed through 2012-13)
Elton Brand (signed through 2012-13)
O.J. Mayo (signed through 2013-14, player option for second year)
Rodrigue Beaubois (restricted free agent after 2012-13)
Dominique Jones (signed through 2013-14, team option for last year)
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Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.