Teams under the salary cap have first crack to bid on amnestied players. If there are no bids, the player becomes a free agent.
If the Mavs plan to acquire Brand through the amnesty waiver bidding process, it will take some work to get under the salary cap.
The Mavs stand at $45 million tied to seven contracts, but that figure is not their actual cap number, as Larry Coon, revered throughout the NBA as the authority on the collective bargaining agreement, explains.
When adding roster charges for unfilled spots and various cap holds for free agents and trade exceptions, plus the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, Dallas is actually over the cap. To get under the cap and be eligible to bid on Brand, the Mavs, as Coon explains, would have to renounce their trade exceptions, mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, and most of their free agents. Doing so comes at the cost of losing their mid-level exception, trade exceptions, and Bird rights to free agents they might want to keep.
The Mavs could get more cap room by using their amnesty on Brendan Haywood. Such a move would seem risky with only Brandan Wright on the roster capable of playing center, plus second-round draft pick Bernard James.
Now, if the Mavs put in a bid for Brand and don't win it, then all the potential cap maneuvering stated above simply remains as it was.
So, everyone clear on that?