The upcoming increase in the NBA's salary cap will transform next summer into a free-for-all spending frenzy like we've never seen before. While the coming season may be tough in Dallas, the Mavericks can bank on having $60 million worth of cap space for next summer, third-most in the NBA.
The $60-million figure comes from Tom Ziller's latest breakdown on SB Nation proper, which goes in depth about the rules and logistics of the new, upcoming CBA. You should definitely read it. It also assumes that every option is declined. However, even adjust the variables slightly, and the Mavericks still have plenty of pop for the offseason.
Here's a complete look around the league.
Players under contract include Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, Justin Anderson and Jeremy Evans. Dirk Nowitzki has said he plans to finish the final two years of his contract, which would indicate he probably picks up the player option. Dwight Powell will surely be extended the qualifying offer if he has a successful season. John Jenkins and JaVale McGee would likely both be brought back if they play well. (There could be qualifiers that turn their NGO contracts into guaranteed money after a certain date or certain incentive is met. I'll do some research there.)
Still, that's a lot of money the Mavericks have floating around. The rest of the player options will likely be declined. Parsons is set to make just over $16 million in 2016-17. No sane person would leave that on the table unless they knew they could make more, and Parsons will, almost assuredly. Williams will likely decline his, too.
Parsons isn't the only player who is set to see a bigger payday next summer. As Ziller notes, there is already about $1.6 billion already owed to players under contract next season. That leaves $1.4 billion on the table for well over 200 players that will be seeking roster spots. For some teams, it may even prove difficult to get all the way to $89 million. There's a lot of money that will be spent.
The problem, of course, as we've learned over the past four years of failure in Dallas' case, is that cap space doesn't equal quality free agents. In fact, cap space has proven to be one of the most unreliable commodities an NBA team can have if you use to simply to try to score big name players on the open market. Regardless, this is the path the Mavericks have chosen. The plan itself is being executed to perfection; it's just a matter of it working sooner than later.