Dwight Powell has officially declined his $10.2 million player option and will be an unrestricted free agent according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
It was widely expected Powell would opt out, and Mark Cuban spoke earlier on 105.3 The Fan and declared the Mavericks’ intentions to ink Powell to a three-year deal, so everything appears to be falling into place. However, Haynes does note that Powell is “expected to have multiple suitors” when free agency begins.
Considered a throw-in piece in the infamous Rajon Rondo trade, Powell has flourished in Dallas as a hyper-active big in a defined role. The 27 year old averaged a career-high 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in nearly 22 minutes a game. Powell converted a career-best 60 percent from the field for the season and connected on 39 percent of three-point attempts from January 1 on.
The 6-foot-11 forward signed a four-year, $37 million deal in 2016 which was deemed a puzzling move at the time, but Powell has developed into one of the league’s best pick-and-roll players thanks to his impeccable timing and elite athleticism. And while he isn’t a plus rebounder or rim protector for his position, Powell remains a unique defensive threat with his ability to trap and blitz pick and rolls.
In theory the Mavericks could sign Powell to an extension
This might not necessarily be what's happening, but a contract can still be extended even if a player opts out, so long as the new deal adds at least two additional years and the salary in year 1 is higher than that of the non-exercised year. https://t.co/4ssK1AkhFn— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) May 20, 2019
However, the Yahoo report seems to indicate Powell wants to pursue free agency in some form.
Powell’s growth and skill set could create a formidable offensive front court with Kristaps Porzingis and given that he’s a developmental success story for the Mavericks after, it shouldn’t be surprising to see the Mavericks do what it takes to bring him back.