Hold the Mayo

Mayo is pretty much the only bright spot so far this season. The only problem is that this may not be as good of a thing as you think. Mayo has a player option for next season at $4.2m. The Mavericks version of O.J. Mayo is likely worth $10m-$12m per year on the free market (Demar Derozen got this much. What is Toronto doing up there?). Obviously, you have to factor in his past also, but even if he regresses somewhat, he still would be able to earn anywhere from $6m-$10m as a free agent this summer. What incentives does he have to invoke his player option? The answer is really none. The Mavs have the space to sign him, if they choose him. You may say he wants to help the team and take less money to play for us like he did this year, but why would he do that when he can get guaranteed money/years in the market? Let's look at the numbers.

*Warning!!! May induce extreme boredom and terrible flashbacks to math classes you hated.

Quick rules of thumb:

1. The team's free agents continue to be included in team salary. This charge is called the "free agent amount" (and is also frequently referred to as a "cap hold"). There may not be enough money available under the cap to sign another team's free agent, because the team's own free agents are taking up all their cap room.

2. To gain more cap room, you can renounce your rights to the Free Agent.

3. A team must include 12 roster charges. This includes signed players and players whose rights you retain. So if you have 5 signed players, and you retain the rights to 3 players, you must include 4 cap charges, each worth the league minimum ($490,180).

4. My opinions on who stays/goes will differ greatly from yours. If you want to estimate your personal opinion, just remember a roster must have a minimum of 12 "holds," which are worth approximately $500k. So if you think Marion gets traded for nothing to get more cap space, subtract his salary, but remember to add in a cap hold for his empty roster spot. This results in a net gain of approximately $8.8m in cap space ($9,316,796 hold-$500k=$8.8 in space gained).

Likely Options Invoked:

These are the guaranteed contracts for the most part. I'm not sure on the specifics of James and Crowder, but assuming we have them locked down for 2 years, with team options per standard rookie contracts, this is their cap hold. For Vince, I read reports that his contract is guaranteed once we picked up the option this past June, and I also read reports that we have a team option next year as well. Not sure which it is, but if the Mavs invoke the option (which must be decided before FA), then this is his cap figure. If Vince is declined, we gain about $2.7m in cap space minus whatever the guarantee amount is. Wright is also worth holding since his cap hold is at the minimum. We have early bird rights on him, which means he cannot be offered more than the mid-level for the first 2 years, and then whatever after that. We also can match. This is just like the Jeremy Lin/Omar Asik contracts. Someone could backload this contract if we are not careful, but until he is inked, his cap hold is the minimum. We can sign all of these free agents for more after we use the cap space, except for Mayo because we do not have any bird rights on him.

As far as options to decline, Larry Coon confirmed via tweet reply that Brand's cap hold is based upon his full $18m salary. It's a no brainer that we renounce him. Roddy and Collison both have cap holds of about $4m, but with the way they are playing, we probably should decline those. Remember you may disagree with me, feel free to recalculate your own opinions using this as a guide. Also we declined Dojo's option already. Dahanty Jones has a caphold of $3.2m. It's likely to be declined also. Everyone else is a one-year contract, and we have no rights to them.

Guaranteed and Likely Options to Pick Up


Cap Hold

















Cap Charge x4






Space Available:


So this is what we are looking at with that scenario - A hair under $15m if Mayo keeps his option. If Mayo declines his option, then we have $18.7m, but we have to re-sign Mayo and any other free agent under that figure. So we basically have 1 max contract available, but if we sign it, then we are likely to lose Mayo. (all the big name FA's maxes start at at least $17m). So we either convince them to take discounts, sign and trade, or trade the Matrix. It looks like we can sign Mayo and another almost star, or Mayo and 2 solid players, or 1 big fish. Either way, our front office has a long road ahead. And yes, I am aware that we will likely screw all of this research up by some crazy trade that no one is expecting. Either way, I am liking Mayo and want to keep him, but this complicates the plan down the road.

Reader Submitted

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