Tuesday morning, Marc Stein published a report that the Dallas Mavericks had discussions last week with the Phoenix Suns about acquiring Deandre Ayton. He mentions that the talks may or may not be dead after the Suns rebuffed the Dallas offer.
Since we’re in limbo and free agency doesn’t start until Friday afternoon, it’s worth discussing the biggest question that would immediately follow that transaction: Can the Mavericks make the reported Ayton trade Phoenix turned down and still utilize the Full MLE (Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception)? Dallas is a thin team on paper and acquiring another big contract in Ayton’s could make filing in depth on the Mavericks difficult.
Marc Stein and others have said the snag in the deal was Dallas wanting to include JaVale McGee. The deal apparently fell apart at that point. If the Mavericks didn’t include McGee, it would hamper their ability to use the Full MLE. Many started to wonder if the Mavericks could make the McGee-less trade of Tim Hardaway Jr and Richaun Holmes for Deandre Ayton, and then figure out another way to open up more room below the Tax Apron.
If you want a rundown on the Mavericks’ actual current position as it relates to the Full MLE and BAE, then read my article from the 23rd.
Here is the Mavericks’ current cap sheet with Kyrie on a potential Max
Cap Sheet Heavy Article WARNING
Ayton traded to Mavericks, Kyrie Maxed Cap Sheet
Ayton Traded with Kyrie starting at $40,000,000 million
Below shows the results of both scenarios. After the trade a maxed-out Kyrie Irving contract gives them no room to use the Full MLE. Kyrie taking a big discount opens a good bit. And they could use it fully if they went with only 14 players and Kyrie on a big discount.
What about waiving-and-stretching McGee?
Here is the cap sheet trading for Ayton but with McGee waived-and-stretched. Kyrie is signed to a max.
Waive and stretch McGee with Kyrie at $40,000,000
Here is how that turns out. With Kyrie on a max deal it doesn’t change much for the Full MLE. If Kyrie signs the deep discount then waiving-and-stretching McGee gets you close with 15 players and over with only rostering 14.
Let’s look at what happens if Bullock is waived-and-stretched. Note two things though: One, today is the last day the Mavericks could waive Bullock before his guaranteed date of June 28th. Also, they could move that mutually till later.
Trading for Ayton cap sheet with Kyrie on a max and Bullock waived and stretched before his guarantee date.
Here is the same scenario but with Kyrie signed to the exact amount to open up the Full MLE with 15 players
And here is the cap sheet for Bullock being waive and stretched and Kyrie signing the exact amount to open the Full MLE and the BAE.
I wanted to demonstrate the exact figures Kyrie could sign for that would open the Full MLE and the Full MLE and BAE.
What would those Kyrie Irving contracts look like?
Kyrie’s contract to open the Full MLE after the Mavericks traded for Ayton and waived and stretched Bullock.
Kyrie’s contract to open the Full MLE and BAE after the Mavericks traded for Ayton and waived and stretched Bullock.
Finally, I wanted to show that waiving and stretching Bullock right now make it so that the Mavericks could re-sign Kyrie to a max and use the Full MLE and some or all of the BAE depending on if they roster 14 or 15 players.
I hope this helped the various amateur General Managers of the Mavericks. I’ll try and help out with various scenarios as the off-season progresses.