Today, the NBA's new television deal with ESPN and Turner Sports was announced, and it's stupid money -- $24 billion over the next nine years.
With the new influx of money, the NBA's cap will rise significantly in 2016 when the current deal expires. The NBA will try to "massage" how quickly it jumps, turning it into a gradual rise, something the players probably won't be too pleased with (if the NBA gradually raised it, the owners would see all the money right away with no restrictions while the players would have to wait a couple years for it to hit its peak).
Regardless, NBA teams will have a lot more money to work with starting in the summer of 2016. What does that mean for the Mavericks? Let's see.
With Tyson Chandler back in the fold, along with wonderful talent like Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons to surround Dirk, Cuban and Donnie Nelson look to have come out okay with their moves, but perhaps they learned a lesson about keeping teams together. Now, it's time to start thinking about this crew. Tyson Chandler becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, while Monta Ellis has a player option that could allow him to test the free agent waters in 2015 as well.
Sure, Tyson hasn't played a minute as a Maverick since 2011, and he's had injury problems of the past few seasons, but let's look at things for a second.
Tyson had his healthiest season in Dallas, and despite being four years older with no promise of holding up like that again, he has credited Dallas' medical staff openly for helping keep him healthy that season. I'm sure they'll be pleased to be kept busy with him again this year.
When asked about letting Tyson go in 2011, Cuban has said that he "learns from his mistakes." Something could happen, but as of right now, with the new TV deal in play and additional money streaming in, Tyson Chandler will re-sign with the Mavericks next offseason. There's virtually no reasons not to pay him.
For how much? That depends on Tyson's effectiveness this season and his ability to stay healthy. He'll make less than his last contract, because of his age, but the cap will jump next offseason in anticipation of the money coming in 2016, and it might be more than we realize.
If Tyson and Monta both have strong seasons, the market on them could get busy quickly because now everyone has money to spend, but thankfully, Dallas will have some wiggle room to toss some coin their way. Thank you, Dirk, and thank you, NBA.
What it means for other Mavericks
You see, Dirk's contract, along with Parsons', allows Dallas to maintain flexibility in the seasons ahead. Combined, Dirk and Parsons account for about $23.6 million, not to mention Greg Smith, Richard Jefferson, Jae Crowder and Brandan Wright come off the books after this season (more on Wright in a moment), and guys like Ricky Ledo and Eric Griffin don't have any guaranteed dollars after this year. Also, similarly to Monta, Raymond Felton and Jameer Nelson both have player options for 2015-16.
Dallas could be major players in 2015 if they wanted (pretty much every one can), and there's no reason they can't lock up Tyson and Monta, as well as Brandan Wright, before those guys hit the market.
Ellis, with a player option for $8 million next year, will opt out. A lot of players will be waiting for the 2016 offseason, where most or all of the money will be available, but there's still plenty available for him next offseason. It's an easy decision for him, currently on a very cheap contract.
The Mavs giving Ellis an extension to get ahead of the open market this summer sounds good, but extensions can only be given on contracts four years or more (Ellis' is two with a player option) per the CBA.
Of course this is all a full season away, but it never hurts to look ahead when it comes to keeping a core intact. Eighty-two games go quick, and the Mavericks have to have an idea of what they want to do come next summer.