Examining the 2023 doomsday scenario for the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks get desperate and overpay for a role player

If Kyrie Irving bolts in free agency, the Mavs will have about $20 million in cap space to spend. They would have their full mid-level exception and a bi-annual exception to use as well. It would make Dallas players for mid-tier free agents. The best options are making more than $20 million per season, and that could create another problem for Dallas.

The worst thing they could do with their cap space is overpay for a middling free agent. At some point, if the Mavericks cannot convince anyone to join Luka Doncic in Dallas, they will have to use the money, but overpaying is always a mistake.

Look at the contracts of Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale McGee, and Davis Bertans on their books as proof. No team is taking those players unless the Mavs attach draft pick compensation. Overpaying gives Dallas one less asset to offer in trades and complicates their future cap sheet as they attempt to improve their roster. The Mavericks need talent and assets, and they must make that a priority in their decision-making this summer.

Overpaying in free agency after losing their first-round pick and Kyrie would be devastating for fans, but it could still get worse.