There has been a lot of speculation about what will happen during the next NBA free agency period. In 2014, several of the league’s top stars could be looking for new contracts. The Los Angeles Lakers have been discussed as a team that will be very active, since they should have a lot of room under the salary cap next season. However, it could be another Western Conference organization that makes the biggest splash next summer.
The Dallas Mavericks might have as much money to spend as almost anybody in 2014. They only have about $17 million committed to players beyond the 2013-2014 season, according to hoopshype.com. With such a low payroll, the Mavericks could be in play to sign some of the biggest names on the market.
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the big name free agents that will be looking for a new deal in a year. However, he’s expected to re-sign with Dallas, where he’s played his entire career. He could command a max-contract, but the future Hall of Famer has indicated that he might take less money in order to allow the team to sign another superstar.
In July, Dallas missed out on signing Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. The team failed to make any major moves in the past two years, including letting Tyson Chandler go to the New York Knicks, in preparation for this offseason. After the club was unable to sign a top free agent, owner Mark Cuban wrote a blog post explaining the team’s recent moves.
Cuban expressed optimism for the future and believes the Mavericks are in a good position to lure free agents to Dallas. This summer, they have added Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis to their roster.
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony are expected to opt out of their current contracts and head next year’s free agent class. The Miami Heat and Knicks are the favorites to re-sign their respective stars, but Dallas may be able to offer each one an appealing pitch to sign with the Mavericks.
Rumors have already started to fly that Anthony’s time in New York could be up. In three playoff appearances with the Knicks, Anthony has yet to get out of the second round. There is speculation that he won’t come back in 2014, and he would consider joining the Lakers.
If the All-Star were to leave New York, a big city like L.A. might be the most likely destination for Anthony. However, Dallas might have more to offer. Because Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, Anthony would be making more money as a Maverick than as a Laker. Both teams should have enough money to sign a second superstar, but Nowitzki might be more of an ideal teammate than Kobe Bryant, who shot the ball over 20 times a game in 2012-2013.
James will be the most sought-after free agent in the class. The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to be the Heat’s biggest competition, but there’s a good chance James would consider the Mavericks if he is serious about exploring his options. James and Nowitzki could form the best tandem in the league, with the MVP’s ability to get to the basket and Nowitzki’s great shooting ability.
The Mavericks missed the playoffs this past year for the first time in over a decade. It’s the first time they didn’t finish over .500 since 1999-2000.