Step to Dallas Mavericks becoming title contenders this offseason: 1. Clear cap space
The Mavs could have as many as eight free agents this offseason. Tim Hardaway Jr., J.J. Redick, and Boban Marjanovic are unrestricted free agents and have no restrictions when choosing their next team. Nicolo Melli decided to return to Italy and play for Olimpia Milano next season, so his cap hold will come off the Mavs books. Tyler Bey and Nate Hinton are restricted free agents, meaning Dallas has the right to match any offer sheet they sign.
Josh Richardson has an $11.6 million player option for next season. There has been no indication, which way the 6’5 wing is leaning. If he opts in, the Mavericks should trade him to maximize their cap space.
Dallas has a $4.1 million team option on Willie Cauley-Stein. They should decline it and relinquish the cap holds on Hardaway Jr., Redick, and Marjanovic to maximize their cap space. The Dallas Mavericks could create just over $34 million in room to work with this summer. They will need every penny to upgrade the roster enough to jump into title contention.
Letting THJ walk is a tough call because he played so well for Dallas the last two seasons. The Mavericks need to improve, though. They must have someone that brings more to the table than Hardaway Jr. if they are going to compete with the NBA’s elite.
Next: Step 2