The Dallas Mavericks made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals as superstar Luka Doncic cemented himself as one of the best players in the NBA. The 23-year-old helped Dallas arrive ahead of schedule again, but now the franchise faces an important offseason.
Luka’s rookie contract is over and his new extension kicks in this summer with a $26 million per season raise. Dorian Finney-Smith also signed an extension that begins next season, which gives Dallas over $151.5 million committed in salaries before re-signing soon-to-be free agent Jalen Brunson. The NBA set the luxury tax line at $149 million, so Dallas will be paying the tax unless they shed some salary.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban has not paid the luxury tax since 2011, and the team needs upgrades to become true title contenders. Is Cuban willing to pay the tax? How much will he pay to improve the roster? Here is a closer look at those questions.
Is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban willing to pay the luxury tax?
Cuban has been steadfast about the team’s desire and willingness to re-sign Brunson. If Brunson signs for $20 million per season, it will cost the Mavericks more than $80 million this year with the tax penalties. It is a hefty price to pay, and that is without making any roster upgrades.
Dallas will not have cap space, but they will still have the taxpayer mid-level exception to add a center or another wing. Expect the Mavericks to be active in the trade market as well in searching for upgrades. If they go all-in to try to maximize their roster, owner Mark Cuban could be looking at more than $177 million committed in salaries with a massive luxury tax bill placed on top.
The Mavericks owner paid the luxury in its first nine years, but that stopped with the title team in 2011. Cuban paid more than $151 million just in tax penalties from 2002 to 2011, but he has not gone back into the tax since the championship team. The 63-year-old has shown he is willing to pay for a contender, and that is what the Mavericks are now.
Expect to see Dallas be wise with their spending this summer, but owner Mark Cuban will pay a massive luxury tax bill. The Mavericks are going to use their mid-level exception and pay Jalen Brunson to increase the tab, but Cubes will be more than willing to hand over the cash if his team makes another deep playoff run in 2023.