After Nerlens Noel surprisingly accepted his $4.1 million qualifying offer on Saturday, the Mavericks suddenly find themselves with a decent amount of leftover cap space.
How much? According to DFW basketball legend, Jeff “Skin” Wade, approximately $10 million.
An unexpected $10 million falling into an NBA team’s lap in late August used to not mean anything, but a surprising amount of quality players are still available. Notable examples include Tony Allen, Boris Diaw, Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings and Derrick Williams.
Before getting your hopes up that the Mavericks will use any, or all, of their remaining cap space on any other players, just heed some advice: don’t.
Getting Nerlens Noel on-board for this season was very likely the last roster move Dallas will make before training camp in just a few weeks. They even laid it out for everyone on Twitter.
DONE DEAL! We have signed @NerlensNoel3 and the training camp roster is set!
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) August 28, 2017
Another notable reason that the Mavericks are very likely done with any roster additions is that they currently have 19 players on their roster. Of course, only 15 of those will make the final roster.
Mavs training camp roster pic.twitter.com/1WTysEUxiu
— Arya (@aryaahmadi) August 28, 2017
The biggest reason for Dallas leaving this cap space untouched will be the positive impact it could have for down the road.
Perhaps the Mavericks are in a position to be buyers at the trade deadline. Having this extra cap space opens up a lot of possibilities for Dallas in an in-season trade. Trading a quality player into open cap space will be easier than trying to piece together multiple player salaries to make sure the money matches on both sides like when a team operates over the cap.
The bigger priority is likely next summer as the Mavericks could be in a good position to go back to their free agency big fishing ways. There are several notable superstars potentially going to be on the market. In the past, Dallas merely had cap space and an aging Dirk Nowitzki to show off to free agents they courted. Their recent youth movement has allowed them to actually have a glimmer of hope for their present and future.
Are you paying attention, LeBron James or Russell Westbrook?
Pipedreams aside, the extra cap space next summer could prove to be vital if the Mavericks are interested in retaining the always-improving Seth Curry. Dallas does not have Curry’s “Bird Rights” so they will not be able to go over the cap to re-sign him like they could have done with Nerlens Noel this summer. Re-signing both Curry and Noel would almost certainly cost at least a combined $30 million per year (very conservative guest), so the plethora of space will serve Dallas well next year.
While it would have been exciting to think of another recognizable name signing with the Mavs thanks to this extra cash leftover, the bigger picture is more important and it would be wise for Dallas to just hang on and use it later.
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