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Mavs Mailbag: Lost in Cap Space

We’ve come out the other side of free agency with plenty of questions for the Mavericks to answer

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I hope it’s better late than never with this round of Mavs Mailbag. Thank you so much for the response to the @MavsMoneyball Twitter mailbag. MFFLs threw a lot at us, coming off the adrenaline (and perhaps let down) of free agency week.

Now we’re post Summer League for the Dallas Mavericks, we have a pretty good sense of what next season’s roster will look like, and now it’s about seeing how Rick Carlisle & Co put all the pieces together.

Because your enthusiasm was so strong, we’re breaking up this mailbag into two parts. Part One takes a look at where the Mavericks are in free agency and what other moves might be ahead. Full disclosure: most of these questions came in the middle of last week, before monumental moments like the Russell Westbrook trade took place. On to the bag!

“Never love anything kiddo, you will just end up losing it”

@Rpiamonte: Do we still have that big TPE?

The TPE (Traded Player Exception) we’re referring to is the $21 million-plus exception created in the Harrison Barnes trade. It’s a huge exception, and was partially used in the sign-and-trade that brought Delon Wright officially to the Mavericks.

That leaves about $11.7 of that TPE for the Mavericks to use before it expires in February 2020. Most TPEs go unused, but I’d expect the Mavs to try and be opportunistic near the trade deadline, and that could certainly be in play. *Remember it cannot be combined with other Mavericks players.

@ArthurdPudel: Can we use our remaining cap space to front-load our new signings? We would have more cap space in the upcoming seasons and those contracts become more tradeable each season. I know in the past CBAs it was possible but rather rarely used

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. The Mavericks didn’t do a great job of using all the cap space available to them this summer (at least not yet). I don’t see them restructuring anything. If they want to create more space for the summer of 2020, or in 2021 (when Tim Hardaway Jr.’s contract is up), it’s more likely they trade players to create that space.

@Ardi_khalid: We still have amount about 14m luxury tax space. Can we use that money to sign free agent using that space? Or we have to use an exceptions since we are over the cap?

The Mavericks could have operated as an “over the cap” team by using their cap space, and then re-signing all of their restricted free agents. They didn’t do that. It looks like they used a portion of the TPE to bring in Wright just in case they could be involved in the Russell Westbrook trade. That didn’t happen, and now the Mavs have signed all their returning restricted free agents. So that space is now gone.

“There’s a lot of space out there to get lost in”

@fabio_torres: What do you guys make of Mavs’ interest in Iggy? He doesn’t fit the roster’s timeline, although an experienced two-way wing is in need. Do the Brain Trust believe we’re playoff contenders already?

Andre Iguodala is a declining vet who will be very useful in spots, and very influential in the locker room or on the bench. The Memphis Grizzlies reportedly are looking for a future first round pick in return (a wild ask considering they already received one for taking him on). I’d be surprised if a team coughed that up.

The Mavs could use his vet presence, but shouldn’t give up picks to take on his one season contract. A) because they don’t need to trade more first rounders, and B) because a playoff appearance is a talllllllll order. I’d still be in favor of having Iggy around, at the right price. But it shouldn’t be with the expectations of being playoff contenders.

@Lauren_MFFL: What about @50Mejri?

Well, The Mej may not be around this season. It looks at this point that his spot went to Boban Marjanovic, as the last big off the bench. I like the change, both because of Boban’s skill level and because of his personality. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if we see Salah Mejri in a Mavericks uniform in the future.

@ERobach94: You said the Mavs may not be done making moves. What moves would you like to see them make from here?

I think this is a question that I had a little more option when it was asked, than where we are currently. I think we’re looking at the opening night roster. The Mavericks seem likely to leave their 15th roster spot open to see what happens around fall camp. Maybe that spot goes to second rounder Isaiah Roby, or perhaps another camp invite. Maybe they re-sign Devin Harris and lock in this crew for now. Or maybe they just leave the spot open to see what pops up down the line.

I would have liked to see the Mavericks sign another perimeter shooter. They badly need bench players to step up, or to find someone who can be a human torch off the bench. I think that will become more apparent once the season gets going. If the Mavs look to make an addition down the road, give me a forward who can connect off of Luka Doncic kickouts.

@CarlHunterson23: What would it take to get Bradley Beal?

Well first, it would take the Washington Wizards being willing to trade him. I think they’ll eventually bite, but they don’t seem ready now. After that, their asking price will likely start high. I’d be watching teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, with their giant haul of recently acquired draft picks.

Bradley Beal is a high level guard, and the Wizards would be smart to ask for a big return if they’re trying to detonate things in Washington. The Mavericks really don’t have the young assets, or the arsenal of extra first round draft picks, to be players in a trade like that. But trade are what they’re good at, so I suppose it’s possible. But they’ll be waiting in a long line for Beal.