Dallas Mavericks 2017-18 Trade Season Guide
By Isaac Harris
NBA trade season is officially here and here is your trade season guide for the Dallas Mavericks.
The December 15th deadline has passed and now the majority of players signed over the summer can be traded. Thus signaling the unofficial start to the NBA trade season.
The Dallas Mavericks currently sit with a 8-21 record that is the worst record in the Western Conference.
With Dallas sitting on a roster full of veterans and some expiring contracts, they could look to be active at the deadline.
Here is everything you need to know for trade season in Dallas.
Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, J.J. Barea, Maxi Kleber, Dennis Smith Jr.
This is the group that is most likely not going anywhere.
Dirk, Harrison and Dennis are here to stay. Maxi Kleber has been a nice surprise this season starting alongside of Nowitzki and probably isn’t going anywhere.
It might surprise some that I put J.J. Barea in this group, but I do for a couple of reasons. He is 33 years old and still on the books for the 2018-19 season for $3.7 million. He is playing exceptionally well and has entered that prestigious club within the organization where I believe he will retire with the Mavericks.
Wesley Matthews, Dwight Powell
This is the group of big contracts that will be difficult to trade.
First, their contracts.
Matthews: $17.8 million (2017-18) $18.6 million player option (2018-19)
Powell: $9 million (2017-18) $9.6 million (2018-19) $10.2 million player option (2019-20)
It is pretty simple with these two, finding a trade partner (if Dallas wanted) might be difficult considering their output for the money they make.
Dwight Powell has been playing better as of late, but is still under contract for a hefty price over the next couple of seasons. I would expect him to stay in Dallas for now, but the Mavs would probably put him in a deal if it meant shedding his salary.
Wesley Matthews would be great for a group of playoff teams wanting to win now. With him still not looking like the pre-Achilles injury Matthews in Portland, his player option for next season is almost certain to be picked up.
I give Matthews a better shot than Powell in getting traded, but the Mavs will have to get tricky on what they would bring back for Matthews.
I am 50-50 on Matthews being in Dallas past the deadline.
Seth Curry, Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith
This is the group of guys who should be in Dallas past the deadline, but could be included into bigger deals.
Seth Curry: $3 million (2017-18) unrestricted free agent next summer
Yogi Ferrell: $1.3 million (2017-18) $1.6 million qualifying offer (2018-19) restricted free agent next summer
Dorian Finney-Smith: $1.3 million (2017-18) $1.5 million (2018-19 non-guaranteed) $1.8 million qualifying offer (2019-20)
Seth Curry has yet to play this regular season so trading him would be difficult at this moment, but I wouldn’t rule it completely out. He is set to hit unrestricted free agency next summer and if Dallas thinks his price tag will be too high, then they could entertain offers.
Ferrell and Finney-Smith should be in Dallas moving forward as both are young pieces the Mavericks continue to groom. But if a larger deal comes along, they could be added to the deal to make money work.
I expect all three to remain in Dallas past the deadline.
This is the group of guys to really watch during trade season for the Dallas Mavericks.
Nerlens Noel: $4.1 million (2017-18) unrestricted free agent next summer.
After Noel turned down the original offer from the Mavericks at the beginning of free agency, he switched agents (to Rich Paul) and signed the one year qualifying offer. This enables him to hit unrestricted free agency next summer.
With his playing time reduced and a recent (minor) thumb surgery taking place, Noel’s days in Dallas are numbered. The wrinkle in it all is that Noel can veto any trade sending him out of Dallas (as he will be giving up his bird rights) due to him signing the qualifying offer.
You would assume the Mavericks and Noel’s camp would like to find a deal to satisfy both sides and allow Noel to show the league what he is worth come free agency. With the potential new team not being able to go over the cap to re-sign Noel next summer, this situation will be interesting to watch unfold.
Salah Mejri: $1.4 million (2017-18) $1.8 million qualifying offer (2018-19) restricted free agent next summer.
Salah Mejri is the guy everyone loves to have on their team but the other 29 teams hate.
The 31-year-old Mejri is one of the only players left in the league that doesn’t care about the pedigree of the person he’s going up against. Always getting underneath the opponent’s skin, Mejri is a tremendous shot blocker and instant energy presence off the bench.
For a team looking for a defensive five off the bench at a cheap price, Mejri would be the perfect fit. Then you consider he is a backup veteran on a possibly lottery bound Mavericks and suddenly Mejri could find himself heading elsewhere before the deadline.
Devin Harris: $4.4 million non-guaranteed until 1/10 (2017-18) unrestricted free agent next summer.
Harris is playing some of the best basketball of his career in his 14th season as he comes off the bench and plays positions one through three for the Mavericks. Who is the leader in plus/minus for the Mavericks?
You got it, Devin Harris.
Harris is the perfect veteran that could come off the bench for a playoff bound team and help solidify a second unit with his versatility. Harris is a staple in Dallas among the fans, but he is the perfect example of a solid, expiring veteran on a lottery team that could be headed to a playoff team.
Josh McRoberts: $6 million (2017-18) unrestricted free agent next summer.
McRoberts was acquired from the Heat solely as a salary cap dump. Dallas received $5.1 million for taking on the expiring contract of McRoberts.
McRoberts has yet to suit up for the Mavericks and probably won’t (for anyone) until past the trade deadline. His expiring $6 million contract could be really useful in a bigger deal for a team looking to create cap space next summer.
His contract allows the Mavericks to get creative come the deadline.
Exceptions (with expirations) according to basketball insiders.com.
Anderson 2/23/18 = $1.5 million
Bogut 2/23/18 = $600k
Liggins 6/28/18 = $1 million
Uthoff 6/29/18 = $40k
Hammons 7/7/18 = $1.3 million
Mid-Level = $8.4 million
Bi-Annual = $3.2 million
Current Cap Space: $12.5 million according to Spotrac.com
The Chicago Bulls join the Mavericks as the only teams sitting on cap space in the double-digits at this point in the season. Having this cap space allows the Mavericks flexibility heading into the deadline.
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This obviously means that Dallas can take on more money than what they send out in a potential deal due to the open cap space. Dallas could also look to a team trying to dump salary with assets attached to it.
Projected 2018 Summer Cap Space: $50 million (roughly) according to basketball insiders.com.
As it stands currently, the Mavericks will be one of the teams with the most cap space next summer. Before options or qualifying offers, the only players with guaranteed money next year on the roster are Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell, J.J. Barea and Dennis Smith Jr.
You also have to factor in Dirk Nowitzki potentially coming back, what re-signing Seth Curry looks like, the restricted free agency of Yogi Ferrell and Salah Mejri, and the player option of Wesley Matthews that will most likely be picked up.
It will be interesting to see if Dallas would take on a contract from another team that would cut into this cap space. What kind of asset coming back from another team would be worth cutting into that cap space for?
Next: 10 Teams That Could Trade For Devin Harris
With the deadline moved up a bit this year to February 8th, expect trade chatter to heat up over the next couple of weeks.