So for Dallas to get enough cap space in 2012 to sign a max contract free agent, while keeping Tyson Chandler, they would likely have to:
- Not resign Jason Terry, Caron Butler or JJ Barea
- Amnesty Brendan Haywood next summer
- Use the stretch exception on Shawn Marion next summer
- Trade Rodrigue Beaubois, Corey Brewer and Dominique Jones while taking back no contracts that last beyond this season.
That would leave them with Dirk Nowitzki ($20.9mil), Tyson Chandler (say $12mil), the ghost of Shawn Marion’s contract ($3.5mil) and 10 cap holds for empty roster spots at $500k apiece.
That would give them a team with
- Chris Paul or Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler
… or …
- Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki and a solid perimeter player that they trade Tyson Chandler for (say Gerald Wallace).
And then that $2.5mil exception and minimum contracts to round out the team.
That is a lot of talent to part ways with for only a decent shot at landing a top name.
Which leaves me with another question to ponder, with Dirk Nowitzki turning 34 in the next couple of months and after losing so much talent, how desirable a destination would the Dallas Mavericks even be?
Sure, they would still have a fantastic organization and owner but how concerned would those three big names be by Dirk’s age and the possibility of a rebuilding process 3 years from now?
And if the Mavs are proactive in keeping their cap flexibility to minimize that rebuilding process, how talented of a supporting cast could they possibly build? Would it be enough to win a title? And if they do go all-in to win a title or two, how long a retooling phase would their new-star be looking at?
Seems to me that teams like New York and possibly New Jersey who are constructed well for the next 5+ years would offer a much better, or least prolonged, opportunity for success and thus would be the frontrunners for each of those three players.