Monday, July 1, 2013
Sources: Israeli PG Mekel commits to Mavs
By Marc Stein
The Dallas Mavericks will go into their crucial Tuesday meeting with Dwight Howard having already secured one of the first verbal commitments of 2013 free agency in the NBA.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Mavericks, in the early hours of Monday morning, received word from Israeli point guard Gal Mekel that he is committing to sign a multi-year guaranteed contract at a league minimum salary after the NBA's annual moratorium on signings and trades is lifted July 10.
Although the Mavericks are not allowed to publicly discuss the move until the moratorium is lifted, NBA rules allow players and teams to strike verbal agreements during the leaguewide freeze on business. And the fact that Mekel, sources say, has agreed to accept a minimum salary means that Dallas can come to terms with him safe in the knowledge that it would be able to formally sign him to a minimum deal either following the successful recruitment of Howard or -- if the Mavericks lose out in the Dwight Sweepstakes to the favored Houston Rockets or the incumbent Los Angeles Lakers -- or after using up all its available salary-cap space on other free agents.