Mavs Breaking: Discovers Amnesty Twist

Are the Mavs in the mix for Elton Brand? And if so, how long will they have to wait to discover if the Philly big man will be one of their big additions to the roster this summer? has learned that the answer to those questions may come far sooner than anyone realizes.

Friday the 13th may prove to be a big day in the summer.

It's an open NBA secret that the Sixers intend to place Elton Brand on the amnesty-waiver list, and to gain amnesty treatment he has to be designated to the league in the first week of free agency, July 11-18 this year. Their purpose in doing so is to gain cap room to sign available free agents, which means for them the sooner the better. Look for him to be placed on the list on July 11.

Once that happens, teams with cap space (or the ability to create it by renouncing exceptions and placing players on waivers) can place a bid to acquire him, and his rights for the remainder of his contract (this season) will go to the highest bidder

But the Mavs will be at a crossroads if they wish to place a bid. They have several holes to fill on the roster, and they will have more flexibility to do so if they stay over the cap and use their slew of cap exceptions - an approach that would be at odds with acquiring Brand via the amnesty process.

They wouldn't have to get rid of all those exceptions to place a bid, but once they bid, then until Brand's rights were awarded they would have to maintain the ability to free up the needed cap space immediately if they won. That creates a holding pattern on their free agent activity, which is a disadvantage.

However, has learned from several NBA sources that the claim-and-award period moves fast. In fact, a change in the rules now makes it faster than ever before.

All NBA waivers (including the amnesty process) are 48 hours now. Previously they had been extended to last for seven days in the summer, but no longer. The period begins on the day the player's name is submitted, and ends at 6:00 pm ET two days later.

This means if the Mavs wish to place a bid for Brand, if he's put on the list on July 11, they should have an answer by the evening of Friday July 13th, shortly after 5:00 Dallas time.

The Mavs have moved slowly so far this summer. Some of that is the result of Plan A failures. But after that, maybe part of the explanation derives from a Mavs' need to place a bid on Brand (11 points and 7.6 rebounds for the Sixers last season with a PER of 18) and learn the outcome, before making any other commitments. In addition, while they might be able to do other things on the side before the Brand possibility is resolved, announcing any deals in the interim might offer a hint to competitive bidders of how much they have set aside for their bid for Brand. As a result, we may hear of nothing being done from the Mavs until then - followed by announcements of deals in bang-bang-bang sequence.

We don't know for sure that's what the Mavs are doing. But we do know about the rule and the process. Perhaps Friday the 13th will prove to be a big day for Mavs announcements.

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