In what’s been a relatively quiet month for the Mavericks since the season has ended, got a some news today that may change the course of the offseason. Reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Dwight Powell has decided to decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent.
Yahoo Sources: Dallas forward Dwight Powell has made a decision regarding his $10.2 million player option. https://t.co/UH7YuOnN7f
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 20, 2019
Powell declining his $10.2 million option for 2019-2020 doesn’t come as a surprise. Whether Powell opted in or out of his contract, it was always expected that he and the Mavericks would be working towards a long-term deal.
“Dwight is a Maverick. One of our key pieces coming off bench so absolutely, we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure his example, leadership, and on the court production stays in a Maverick uniform for a long period of time,” General Manager Donnie Nelson said at exit interviews about Powell’s future in Dallas.
Along with Donnie, Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle were very vocal all season long on their plans to resign Powell to a long-term deal. Carlisle especially, continuously speaking highly of Powell on and off the court all season long.
In a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan’s Ben & Skin right after the season ended, Cuban said, “We’ll extend Dwight Powell and keep him around for another three years.”
What this means in the short term is with Dwight declining his option, that gives the Mavericks around $40 million in cap space and a lot of options. The question is: do the Mavericks chase the big name free agents or try to retain their free agents and sign role players around Luka and KP?
Sources tell Chris Haynes to expect Powell to have multiple suitors this summer, as he should. Dwight has grown immensely as a player in all facets of his game, averaging a career-high in points (10.6) and minutes per game (21.6) this past season. After the All-Star break is when he really broke out, averaging 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game.
“I definitely want to be here. The opportunities that have been afforded to me by Mark and Coach, I’m obviously grateful for that, Powell said at exit interviews when asked about picking up his option. “I want to stay here. That’s my goal.”
It’s clear that Dwight wants to be here and that the Mavericks want Dwight here. Though it’s unclear on what the number will be in dollars to keep him here, you have to wonder what kind of outside interest he will receive around the league. At the end of the day, Mark and Donnie will surely do their best to keep Dwight in a Maverick uniform.