I wanted to give a short primer on how restricted free agency works, what the Mavericks might offer, and when they might offer it. Chris Haynes has reported that the Mavericks and Matisse Thybulle will agree to an offer sheet.
When does this start?
Teams have already been able to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets during the July Moratorium, but the clock for matching cannot start until the Moratorium ends. That ends tomorrow at 11 a.m. CST. The Mavericks could officially agree to the offer sheet with Thybulle right now but likely would wait a little.
Quickest possible conclusion
The Mavericks can submit the offer sheet to Portland just before the Moratorium ends. To cut it close would be doing it the hour before it ends, between 10 and 10:59 a.m. CST. Then the matching period for Portland would start at 11 a.m. CST. They’d have to officially match or not by 11 p.m. CST Friday night.
2nd quickest conclusion
If the Mavericks submit the offer sheet after 11 a.m. CST tomorrow but before 11 a.m. CST Friday, then the matching period would last till 11 p.m. CST Saturday night.
What can the offer be?
The max the Mavericks can offer is the entire Full MLE of $12,405,000 with five percent raises for four years.
An offer sheet needs to be a minimum of two years without any player or team option. But can be three or four years with a player or team option on the last season. The Mavericks can also add a trade kicker. The max for that is 15 percent. If Portland matches then they have to get the same bonus and salary structure. The Mavericks could obviously offer less than all the $12,405,000 to start with. Whatever the first year is, the following years can only go up or down by five percent of the first year's salary.
When was the last Restricted Free Agent win for the Mavericks?
The last time the Mavericks successfully got a restricted free agent was Chandler Parsons in 2014. They used an unattractive salary and bonus structure to help make it happen. They gave Parson a two plus one with a player option and a 15 percent trade kicker. Parsons opted out of the third year and signed a 15 percent max contract with the Memphis Grizzles.
Here is what a similar offer sheet for Matisse Thybulle would look like.
Before Sunday I think we are likely to have the Matisse Thybulle situation resolved. If Portland matches, then the Mavericks will have the Full MLE at their disposal once again. That could mean they would use it on another offer sheet or sign an unrestricted free agent. The issue is that the market continues to dry up as time goes on.
One important note
Once the offer sheet is officially given to Portland, this cannot turn into a sign-and-trade. The only options at that point are to either match or not match. And if they match, Thybulle will have veto power over trades for the entire 2023-24 season. He couldn’t be traded to Dallas at all for the 2023-24 season.
I’ll guess that the Mavericks offer the two plus one for $39,075,750 amount above with a 15 percent trade kicker. It sounds like many are reporting the Trail Blazers will match the offer, so I will predict the Mavericks will attempt to make it painful for Portland if they do. However, I also predict that Portland matches the deal.