How can Mavericks improve roster without cap space? 4. Veteran minimums
The NBA’s minimum contracts are done on a scale based on years of experience. This season, the rookie minimum sits at $925,258 with the minimum for a player with ten or more years in the league being $2.6 million.
The league does not want teams signing younger players to save money, so they reimburse the teams who sign players with three-plus years of experience and lower the number it counts against the cap.
This can do wonders to improve a true title contender. The Nets signed LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Blake Griffin, and James Johnson to veteran minimum deals this summer as the four veterans look to chase a ring. Each could have played for more money elsewhere, but chose Brooklyn to compete for the title.
The Dallas Mavericks are hoping to reach that status. They likely need a second superstar to play next to Luka Doncic before it becomes a reality, but getting veterans with playoff experience on minimum deals is a hallmark of title contenders in recent years.
Players who come through the buyout market also count here. After being waived, they sign prorated minimum deals. It is just another way for contenders to add a veteran at a discounted price.