Multiple reports have named the Mavericks as a suitor for Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. It makes perfect sense. I wrote about how he’d fit on the Mavericks here. Despite his age, Lowry doesn’t appear likely to ring chase. He already stated that his free-agent destination will be dictated by dollars and years. Marc Stein and Shams Charania have both reported that the Mavericks have prioritized bringing back Tim Hardaway Jr. The question is, with limited cap space, how do the Mavericks plan on accomplishing both of those things? Let’s take a look.
Reports indicate Lowry is looking for a deal in the $25-$30 million a year range. With no shortage of suitors, Lowry may find himself the beneficiary of a bidding war. For accounting purposes, let’s say Lowry is successful in landing $30 million a year. To sign him outright, Dallas would have to trade Josh Richardson into a team’s cap space. That would leave the team with just $4 million in cap space and the room exemption. In this scenario, Dallas would have to let Hardaway walk. That leaves a sign and trade as the only viable way to acquire Lowry.
Here are the five steps the Mavericks could take to get these deals done.
- Pick up the $4.1 million dollar option for Willie Cauley-Stein
- The salaries of Cauley-Stein, Maxi Kleber, and Josh Richardson equal roughly $24.69 million. Keep in mind that trades have to be within 15 percent of each other. That means Dallas can technically take on $28.39 million in a trade.
- Lowry signs an extension with Toronto starting at $28.39 million. Because his contract will be used in a sign and trade, Toronto can only give him five percent raises instead of the typical eight. Lowry’s contract would pay him $29.8 million in year two and $31.3 million. In all, Lowry’s deal would pay him $89.5 million over three years.
- Use Bird Rights to sign Hardaway to an extension.
- By choosing this path, Dallas would be operating as a team over the cap. That would open up the full Non-Tax Payer Mid-Level Exemption. Dallas could use that $9.8 million to chase a wing like Danny Green or big such as Nerlen Noel.
Simple as that! Well, not exactly simple, but it is doable. If the Mavericks get creative with their usage of their cap space, they can definitely make this offseason scenario a reality, so long as Lowry and Hardaway are on board.