I think Mark Cuban is a bit off his rocker when he starts talking about this team contending, and being better off without Deron Williams as currently constructed. That’s a joke.
But as the Mavericks get set to open training camp, there is one clear path to another “we are the champions” and “ufta-ufta” world championship.
As free agency unfolded, and the Mavs added several players on one year contracts it put the team in position to take advantage of what is going to be an extreme buyer’s market as the February trade deadline approaches.
-Chris Kaman, 8 million.
-O.J. Mayo, 4 million.
-Dahntay Jones, 3 million
-Darren Collison, 2.3 million
-Elton Brand, 2.1 million
-Delonte West, 1.2 million
By signing this collection of average-to-good players, the Mavs have stockpiled ammunition for the trade market
They can offer compensation packages starting at the league minimum and incrementally walking all the way up to 22.6 million dollars with just the players they picked up on one year deals. And that’s very important.
In the NBA, teams making a trade need to be fairly close to matching salaries. The Mavs are in a unique position with their roster because they have the ability to offer a wide range of price points with a wide variety of players to offer, all with expiring contracts.
Why is that so important and impressive?
These contracts are going to be extremely valuable for teams that are not contenders but are drastically over the luxury and need to cut players to avoid paying tax for an average team.
Why does that matter now?
The new luxury tax rules agreed upon in negotiations during the lockout last year, take their full affect this summer. They are much more strict and will likely prompt several teams to be looking to dump salary.
The Mavs bet is the quality of player that will become available will increase as the number of team’s capable of taking on salary decreases. Simple economics really, and totally a Mark Cuban move.
If the player market sways in the buyer’s favor by another degree or two, we could see an unprecedented event in the NBA that ends with Mark Cuban at the podium flashing his boastful grin.
He’ll deserve it too. Especially because this roster can still play a little bit and make the playoffs if the big trade doesn’t materialize during the season.
I salute you for a job well done Mark, just stop trying to sell me that the team is in better shape without Deron Williams. Not yet anyway.