On July 1, Dwight Howard hits the free-agent market. So does Chris Paul. At this point, the Dallas Mavericks are wisely not playing their hand in regard to which player they prefer ... and as pipedreamy as it is, we think it's even worth spending the time to consider the dollars, cents and moving parts to attempting to acquire both.
We know, we know. Ridiculous. But we'll roll up our sleeves and put in the work, just in case, OK?
For the moment, let's theorize that Dallas has to choose which doorstep to plant itself on come midnight July 1. For the moment, let's theorize that the lucky potential partner is Paul.
(We're very comfortable with that Paul-over-Dwight "educated guess,'' for what it's worth.)
Assuming he's truly willing to depart the Clippers (possibly folly given his existing employer's ability to guarantee him a fifth contractual year) ... What would Dallas have to do to make room for him?
We've calculated the maximum four-year deal for Paul to total $79,714,196 and to start at $18,668,430. (Note: Paul's five-year LAC number will be $107,343,500.)
From there, you will find it's a surprisingly easy fit to near the $18 million range. Here are two among the almost countless methods:
Option 1: Keep the five players Dallas presently has under commitment (Nowitzki, Marion, Carter, Cunningham, Crowder); keep the 13th pick; and waive the two non-guaranteed players James and Akognon.
a) If the NBA cap is at $58.044 million, Dallas has room to spend $16,232,171 on one player. (Meaning another move -- like the giveaway of Carter -- is necessary. Or Paul agrees to take less than the max.)
b) If the NBA cap is at 60 million, Dallas has room to spend $18,188,171 on one player (and you are very close to Paul's max.)
Option 2: Keep the five players under commitment (Nowitzki, Marion, Carter, Cunningham, Crowder), get rid of 13th pick, and waive the two non-guaranteed players.
a) With a $58.044 million cap, there is room to spend $17,397,291 on one player (again, the need for a "minor'' move.)
b) With a $60 million cap, there is room to spend $19,353,291 on one player.
There are some misunderstandings about Dallas' "commitments'' and "aging roster'' and such. Maybe this clears that up:
|Mavs Player||Do-Nothing Obligations|
|No. 1 pick||$1,655,300|
|5 cap holds||@ $490,180 each|
You see the total. It adds up to $42,110,521 -- down from $46 million with the news that Mayo is opting out of his $4.2 million -- and with a cap guesstimate of $58-60 mil, yes that leaves in the range of $18 million.
We've written volumes on these subjects, as Premium Mavs Fans are aware. Here, DB.com Archives has all the research on the Mavs' wishes and how they can be applied. Here, a one-of-a-kind resource: The CBA rules in terms of how they impact the Mavs' roster and the Mavs' money.
(We've got the best information on the Mavs, on the court, in the locker room and in the front office. We invite you to take the free seven-day trial and see for yourself ... and then for about 10 cents a day, be a Premium Mavs Fan!)
What we're discussing here -- a continuation of Dallas' pursuit dating back to July 12, 2010, when DallasBasketball.com reported exclusively on the Mavs' "kitchen-sink'' trade offer to the Hornets for Paul -- is an example of what "Plan Powder'' has always been about. Acquire a player like Paul without necessarily further dismantling the club. Improve drastically in 2013-14, and then next summer when Dirk's contract is expired, re-up him at a reduced rate and create even more room to add the next piece -- aided by the recruiting skills of Chris Paul.
You now have the thesis. You now have the numbers. Next step: How the Mavs execute this pursuit of their "pipedream.''