Editor's Note: Front-paged
Last year the Mavericks let Tyson Chandler, one of the best defensive centers in the league, walk in order to give them cap flexibility to make a big move in free agency for the following year. This year they allowed Jason Terry to leave in free agency and they also used the amnesty clause on Brandon Haywood.
As of right now the Mavericks are committed to about $42 million in salary for the 2013-2014 season. That season will be the first season in which the rules of the new CBA will be put into place and the salary cap will be based on the BRI and not on the frozen limit of $58 million that was put into place the previous two years. The cap is expected to drop, but the exact figure to which it will drop has not been determined yet.
Marion has $9 million remaining on his contract for the 2013-2014 season. While Marion is a decent player, he will be 36 years old by the time his contract is finished. The ideal situation for Dallas would be to trade him this year for a team that has a trade exception or an expiring contract for this year. However it is unlikely that any team will be willing to absorb his salary. Marion also has a 15% trade kicker and the option to decline any trade.
The Mavericks cannot use the stretch provision on Marion because his contract was signed in the previous CBA. They would have used the amnesty clause on him this year, but they were limited to using it on one player and the chose to use it on Haywood instead.
The best option may be to trade him for a player that has two years remaining on his contract, more than $10 million left on his deal, and one who signed his deal in the new CBA. That player would be Jason Richardson.
Richardson has $12.5 million and 2 years remaining on his deal. The only advantage he provides to Mavericks is the ability for Cuban to use the stretch provision on him. The Mavericks after trading for him could cut him using the stretch provision and then stretch out his remaining salary commitment over the next 5 years. It gives the Mavericks an additional $7 million in cap space putting their salary commitments to about $35 million.
It's not the ideal situation, but is this a trade that you would consider? Obviously the Sixers wouldn't do this unless they have their own two players, Bynum and Holiday re-signed. However if the contract situation for James Harden is not resolved or if Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are not satisfied with their teams, it may give the Mavericks the flexibility to build a contender.