The Dallas Mavericks found out in the playoffs just how valuable Al-Farouq Aminu is. Aminu has expressed his interest in returning to Dallas and, as Hal Brown reported in his free agency primer, the Mavericks feel the same way.
And while the 24-year-old is a top priority this summer for the Mavericks, they also plan on heading into another summer where freeing up cap space, and even roster space, is a must. That's where Raymond Felton comes in.
ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon is reporting that the Mavericks will look to move Felton before July 1 and use that money to pay Aminu this summer. Felton picked up his $3.9 million player option on May 18, and MacMahon says league sources estimate Aminu's value this summer will be in the $4 million per year range.
If Dallas can't find a suitor to take Felton off its hands, the Mavericks could waive Felton using the stretch provision, which was an idea that was even considered last offseason before Dallas decided against it. And if that doesn't turn out to work, MacMahon noted that the Mavericks could convince Aminu to take less money on a two-year deal with a player option on the second and an agreement they'd reward him properly in 2016.
In that scenario, Dallas would have Aminu's proper Bird Rights, so they would be able to go over the salary cap to keep Aminu. (Right now, they have the smallest form of his Bird Rights and can only pay him 120 percent of his current minimum salary contract.)
If the Mavericks move Felton and Monta Ellis chooses not to opt in on his player deal, Dallas would only have four players under contract with approximately $28 million committed.
Either way, it appears Dallas is ready to put its plan into motion for this summer, whatever that may be.