How can Mavericks improve roster without cap space? 2. Sign and trade
Fans have seen this maneuver being used a lot more in recent years as a way for free agents to go to their preferred destinations. The Mavericks were burned by this in their pursuit of Kyle Lowry during the 2021 offseason. The six-time All-Star ultimately landed in Miami via a sign and trade that featured Goran Dragic going to Toronto and eliminated a second Mavs target.
There were multiple sign and trades over the summer, including DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Lauri Markkanen, Evan Fournier, and Doug McDermott. It is a way for the free agent to make additional money and play for the team of his choosing. Completing a sign and trade does hard cap the team for that year, meaning they cannot exceed the tax apron at any point.
The Mavs hard-capped themselves this season by using their full mid-level exception and their bi-annual exception.
It is unclear where the tax apron will land next season, but it sits at $143.0 million this season. Dallas already has $136.2 million committed in salaries, according to Spotrac, so their flexibility will be limited in using both their mid-level exception and acquiring players via sign and trade. Even more so, if they plan on re-signing Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith.