DALLAS – Let’s take a quick look at the Mavericks’ financial forecast this summer, with an assist from renowned salary cap expert Larry Coon.
The Mavs have the following
eight seven players under contract next season:
Dirk Nowitzki ($22,721,381)
Shawn Marion ($9,316,796)
O.J. Mayo ($4,200,900)
UPDATE: Mayo decided not to exercise his player option for next season.
Vince Carter ($3,180,000)
Jared Cunningham ($1,208,400)
Jae Crowder ($788,872)
Bernard James ($788,872)
Josh Akognon ($788,872)
Marion has an early termination option, which was news to him and is extremely unlikely to be exercised. Mayo has a player option and said he intends to meet with his agent, Rob Pelinka, and Mavs owner Mark Cuban in the near future to begin his decision-making process. The salaries for James and Akognon are non-guaranteed.
Those eight salaries add up to $42,994,093. Coon is projecting next season’s salary cap to be in the range of $58.5 million to $60 million. Assuming lottery luck doesn’t shine on the Mavs and they end up with the 13th overall pick, they’d have a cap hold of $1,655,300, as well as a charge of $490,180 for each vacant spot up to 12 on the roster.
If Mayo had exercised his option to return, according to Coon’s calculations, the Mavs would have had between $13.0 million and $14.5 million if they deemed James and Akognon expendable and renounced the rights to all of their free agents. Those two rookies with non-guaranteed salaries essentially cost the Mavs $298,692 apiece against the cap (the difference between their salaries and the roster charges for a vacant spot).
With Mayo opting out, the Mavs will have between $16.7 million and $18.2 million in cap space, minus James and Akognon. The Mavs could add to that number by making salary-dump deals or using the stretch provision on contracts signed under the new collective bargaining agreement.
The Mavs would also have various exceptions available, as Coon details on his website, the go-to place for caponomics questions.
“We’re going to be opportunistic and try to improve the team,” Cuban said. “I don’t see us just signing just one-year deals anymore. I think we want to grab onto some people to be part of a longer-term solution and see what happens.
“We’re not going to make a financial commitment just to say we made a financial commitment and say that we did. If there’s nobody there to sign that helps us, we won’t sign anybody and we’ll tell everybody exactly why we did what we did and deal with the consequences.
“But we think there will at least be some guys that we think can help us. We’ll see who they are and we’ll see what we can do.”