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Roundtable: What contract should the Mavericks give Dwight Powell?

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He’s going to be a Maverick, but for how long and for how much?

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With the news that Dwight Powell plans to opt in and sign an extension with the Dallas Mavericks, what are your reactions? What sort of extension do you think Powell should receive and what do you think he actually gets?

Doyle: I don’t think this news is surprising. Even when Chris Haynes initially reported for Yahoo Sports that Powell planned to opt out of the final year of his current contract, he noted that Powell’s priority this summer was to sign a new contract with the Mavericks. That seems to still be the case, albeit is a slightly altered form, with him opting in and signing an extension. By most, if not all accounts, the Mavericks really like what Powell brings to the table. He’s an elite rim-roller and has the athleticism and agility to guard along the perimeter. Just don’t ask him to get stops near the basket--or rebounds for that matter.

I would be content if Dallas offered him a four-year, $45 million contract extension with a team option in the final year. A three-year, $34 million deal with no options in the final year would also be something that I would consider ideal. I know how much Powell is worth to the team, I wrote about how undervalued he is in terms of his pay compared to the wins he produces for Forbes earlier this year. The thing is, he’s still a role player and one that has thrived on generally bad teams. What’s more, his game is so predicated on his athleticism that wrapping him up long term is a potentially risky move. He will be 28 by the time the 2019-20 season begins.

My ultimate worry is that the Mavericks do something like offer him an outrageous sum of money. It’s clear that all parties want Powell to stay in Dallas, but there’s no need to break the bank for him. The Mavericks can lock him up while providing him with a modest raise. He’s earned that at the very least. Dallas has to be cognizant of how much of a hit they are willing to take to their cap, especially this summer when the team’s plans are to again swing for the fences in free agency. If there’s a worst case scenario in all of this, it’s Powell receiving a contract in the ballpark of the one the team gave to Wesley Matthews.

Jordan: It can be hard to evaluate a player that is consistently the most effective on a bad team, which is what Powell has been the last two seasons. Credit to him for putting in the work to be the ideal athletic rim runner in Rick Carlisle’s system.

The fear that the Mavericks will overpay for their own player is real. Other teams would probably do their own due diligence had Powell decided to opt out, possibly forcing the Mavs to pay up. But it’s clear he wants to be in Dallas. And both sides should aim for a fair deal.

But what is fair? Hard to say. I’m for team’s honoring loyalty, and Powell deserves a slight bump for being one of the best pick-and-roll finishers in the league. But he still has his flaws -- primarily as a defender and rebounder. All considered I’d be fine with a 4-year/$50 million deal, with a team option for the final season. For the sake of Mavericks’ cap room, I’m hoping it’s closer to $44 million. If it’s above $50 mil. they’re either overpaying, have struck out on free agent targets, or both.

Outside of rebounding concerns, I actually think Powell could compliment Kristaps Porzingis well in the starting lineup, and expect Carlisle to go that route to start the season. They really need to focus on finding wings, and I will yell about it through the first week of July...so I’m not so worried about Powell.

Sam: No one should be surprised that Dwight Powell will be a Maverick for the foreseeable future. Mark Cuban broadcast on the radio the Mavericks’ intentions to keep Powell in Dallas with an extension, and even though it was initially reported Powell would opt out of his contract, it was still expected that he would remain with the Mavericks. It’s a testament to the former second round pick’s work ethic to develop into the player that he’s become because he was largely a throw-in piece in the Rajon Rondo trade. Now, Powell is a key cog in some of the Mavericks high-octane lineups that relentlessly attack opponents on the offensive end.

Powell is eligible for a four-year, $55 million extension, and I believe he will get that. Powell grown and developed each of the past few seasons, and that seems like something Cuban will reward him for, and rightfully so. But at that price, depending on how much the cap continues to rise, the Mavericks could be filled with regret in the third and fourth year of the deal. Powell’s ceiling is clearly capped, and he would be earning $14-15 million dollars at 31 and 32 years old.

Ideally, Dallas could ink Powell to a four-year, $45-50 million deal. Even giving him $50 million total over four years with no annual raises would be much more palatable and would represent a raise from the $9 million he’s made each of the past two seasons. The fact of the matter is Powell is a good player. He is an elite pick-and-roll big and compliments Kristaps Porzingis perfectly on offense. He’s not without limitations, but he’s carved a nice niche in Dallas. The Mavericks need Powell just as much as he needs the Mavericks.

Kirk: I’ve always had a weird thing with Powell, but after a ton of time it’s because I think he’s constantly miscast. He’s been the most consistent player on a bad team and I don’t think that’s fair to him or us in terms of expectations. Powell and the Mavericks click and there’s a lot of value in that, though how much is what we’ll be talking about for a long time.

If I’m understanding all of this correctly, Powell’s likely to sign a contract which puts him in a Dallas uniform for the next five seasons. That’s just wild to me. I don’t know what a good value is because he doesn’t do the two things most teams what big men to do (rebound and defend the rim) but his ability to rim roll is key in the Dallas offense. Above all else, I’d prefer that his contract and any raises contained therein not outpace the salary cap rising. Powell making $15 million at age 33 isn’t something that makes sense to me.

Pay the man though. He might not be what I want, but he’s apparently been what the Mavericks need.