One Big Question for the Dallas Mavericks at Trade Deadline

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 23: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, looks on with Dwight Powell
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 23: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, looks on with Dwight Powell /

With the NBA Trade Deadline just a few weeks away, what is the one big question surrounding the Dallas Mavericks?

The Mavericks are currently 16-31 and the chance of making the playoffs have all but faded away.

With the NBA Trade Deadline just a few weeks away, the franchise as a whole has some decisions to make regarding some players on their roster.

Do they hold on to the veterans on expiring contracts? Do they ship off Nerlens Noel? What about injured young pieces like Dorian Finney-Smith and Seth Curry?

Questions surround the makeup of the roster, but the biggest thing to keep an eye on is the coveted cap space the Mavericks are currently sitting on. At the moment, the Mavericks are sitting on roughly $13 million in cap space. Only the Chicago Bulls have more at the moment.

Mark Cuban addressed this cap space and the team’s plan with that at the trade deadline with the Dallas Morning News.

“I would say we are looking to use our cap space actively,” Cuban said Monday. “We will take back salary to get picks or guys we think can play,” Mark Cuban told the Dallas Morning News.

So the Mavericks want to be opportunistic with the cap space as long as they can get a future asset attached to a deal. Basically, if a team is needing to shed a salary to make room for a bigger deal, then they could call Dallas to absorb that contract and attach a draft pick/young player to the deal.

The one big question is will the Mavericks sacrifice cap space beyond this year in order to gain a draft pick or young player?

This is the question.

Back over the summer, the Mavericks took on the expiring contract of Josh McRoberts and the Heat attached cash to the deal for the Mavericks. Now, that cash can be used to by draft picks in the future similar to how Golden State bought the rights to Jordan Bell on draft night.

Taking on an expiring contract with an asset attached is a no-brainer at this moment, but are there any that would make sense?

Players like Greg Monroe, Derrick Favors, and Amir Johnson are just a few examples of players that in the right three team deal, could need to find a new home quick with a draft pick or young player attached.

But getting an asset to take on an expiring contract is sometimes hard to come by.

The real question surrounds the long-term contracts.

With Kemba Walker rumored to be on the block, names such as Marvin Williams, Dwight Howard and Nicolas Batum have been mentioned as players who Charlotte could look to try to dump as a price for trading Walker.

In obtaining a player like Williams (due $44 million over the next three years), you would be sacrificing multiple years of cap space for the price of whatever asset that came with it. Would a first round pick be worth it?

Someone like Kenneth Faried is another example. If Denver swings for a big player at the deadline, would Dallas take on someone like Faried who is due $13.7 million next season for a draft pick or young player attached?

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What about one of the contracts of Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard or Moe Harkless who all have three more years with double-digit millions each year? Would a draft pick or young player make it worth it?

A lot of it depends on how good the draft pick is or how good the Mavs think the young asset is.

Hate to burst your bubble if you are a believer, but Dallas isn’t getting the Brooklyn pick as a salary dump of Tristan Thompson or Iman Shumpert.

Using the above examples, is a future first worth taking on Marvin Williams? Is Malik Beasley attached with Faried worth the contract? Is a lottery protected first worth taking on the Harkless contract?

This is the decision the Mavericks have to make over the next few weeks.

How good of an asset has to be attached to cut into a big chunk of their cap space this summer?

Next: 5 Off The Radar Trade Targets

Only time will tell as the NBA Trade Deadline is coming up on February 8th.