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Could Dallas get Deron Williams and Dwight Howard? Yes, but…

Feb 29, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Deron Williams, Dwight Howard AP

So here is the scenario you will see laid out here and other places over the next couple weeks heading into the trade deadline:

The Dallas Mavericks find a trade partner to take on Shawn Marion’s $8 million contract for next season (without sending any money back), then they amnesty Brandon Haywood, make a couple other small moves and with that they will be far enough under the salary cap this summer to offer max deals to sign both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to max deals to play along side Dirk Nowitzki.

Sounds promising. But can they do it?

Well, sort of.

They can get close, but they can’t offer full max deals, reports Zach Lowe of The Point Forward at Sports Illustrated, who broke the numbers down in detail.

In short: The Mavs would be able to offer Williams and Howard starting salaries of about $15.95 million each before filling out the rest of the roster using the $2.5 million room exception and the veteran’s minimum salary. The problem: Both Williams and Howard are eligible to earn significantly more than $15.95 million next season….

Howard is earning $18,091,770 this season. Under league rules, if he opts out and becomes a free agent, any team other than Orlando with enough cap space could sign Howard to a four-year deal with a first-year salary of $18,996,358 — or 105 percent of his salary for this season….

The Nets’ star point guard will earn $16,359,805 this season. Like Howard, if Williams opts out and becomes a free agent, he could earn a maximum first-year salary equal to 105 percent of his prior salary — or about $17,177,795. You’ll notice that number is well above the $15.95 million figure mentioned earlier.

Essentially this would have to be a Miami Heat situation, where LeBron James and Dwyane Wade took less money to get the big three together.

New Jersey on the other hand has the cap space to offer Howard a max deal and because they have the Bird rights on Williams (the ability to go over the cap to re-sign their own free agent) he could get a max deal, too. This creates all sorts of ugly luxury tax problems down the line (especially if they keep and give a new deal to Brook Lopez, who is coming to the end of his rookie contract) but the Nets would have their stars.

Williams and Howard, if they really do want to play together, need to figure out what matters most to them in a deal — money, location, a chance to win. And how can they balance all three?

  1. worldbfree4me - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Why it will not happen. Mark Cuban is actively trying to sale the team because he wants to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is why he made little effort to re sign JJ, Tyson and that other guy. No new owner is going to want to be saddled with a huge debt load or players with huge contracts. You can take that to the bank!

    • jdub01984 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Cuban is already out of the running for the Dodgers.

    • drunkenjunk - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      You serious? Cuban isn’t trying to sell the Mavs. He made little effort to re-sign JJ, Tyson, Caron Butler and Deshawn Stevenson because he’s clearing cap space for this upcoming summer.

      Also its sell, not sale the team.

    • therealhtj - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      It won’t happen, but not because of what this genius is spewing. Cuban has plenty of dough to own both the Mavs and Dodgers.

      As a fan of neither the Nets nor Mavs, it really doesn’t matter to me either way, but why the two of them won’t be coming to Dallas is about $20 million less in guaranteed money than they could get in Market #1 vs. a backwards, podunk, redneck racist market like Dallas.

      Ask yourself seriously Dallas fan, when has Cuban ever attracted a free agent without paying him top dollar? You think he’ll be getting the two most coveted free agents at a discount? You’re almost as deluded as Knicks fans.

      • vanderbiltprodigy - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        You sound like an ignorant north east inhabitant that has no clue what the rest of the country is like.

        Do you think Dallas became the 4th biggest market in America by being some podunk backwards redneck town? It grew 23% last year… Why? Because its the economic center of Texas (basically its own country) and people understand it will only continue to grow.

        Dirk took 16 mil less over the life of his contract to stay in Dallas, although EVERY player goes where the most money is.

        In regards to the article, all Dallas has to do is package Marion and Roddy Beaubois for a tpe and amnesty Haywood. There’s.the max for both players… That simple

      • Kurt Helin - Feb 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Again, not that simple. The league accounts for empty roster spots on your cap, so if you strip the team down you still have millions added to the cap along with Dirk. That is why only $15 million, not a true max for these guys.

      • drunkenjunk - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        You missed what i said realhtj, I said he was clearing space for the summer. I never said the Mavs are getting both Howard and Williams. I’d be happy with giving Williams the max and picking up some other pieces. Dallas is a large market and I’m not sure where you’re getting podunk, redneck and racist from. Is it because its in the south? You seem like the one that comes of as ignorant.

    • AlohaMrHand - Feb 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      Cubans out of the bidding for the Dodgers.Might wanna read hardball talk sometime.

    • t16rich - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Awesome. You got 99 thumbs down, I am about to make it a 100. Atleast you gave yourself a thumbs up. Cuban sells the Mavs. Hahahaha.

  2. mkl1224 - Feb 29, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    for starters, Mark Cuban is out of the bidding for the Dodgers………. and secondly why would he sell a team that just won a championship… he will do what it takes to bring another championship to BIG D…you can take that to the BANK!!

  3. pl4tinum514 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    If I’m Williams or Howard, I’m on the phone with each other, figuring out how they can make this happen. Dirk, Howards and Williams? Can you say Repeat?

    • rooney24 - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      Well, they are talking about signing them in the coming offseason, not getting them now. So, no, that would not be a repeat.

  4. abasketballthing - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    It would be pretty easy to balance that. They’d just have to get togheter in Brooklyn as free agents. That team would be much more complete than Dallas with just Dirk. With Humphries at PF, Brooks at SG and Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at SF, they’ll be set up to contend for a title for years.

    • vanderbiltprodigy - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      Because Brooks and Humphries is SO much better than Dirk and 22 mil in to reload in two years with the best owner in sports….. So many NJ homers…. When does the insanity end?

      • abasketballthing - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Brooks, Humphries and MKG/Barnes IS better than Dirk and D-leaguers at SG and SF. Those holes would be too big on both ends of the floor. Besides, the Nets would be improving yearly with those young players, while the Mavs would have a hard time getting better with that team.

  5. vanderbiltprodigy - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    It seems like sports writers just dont want to understand completely. Stop looking for ways Dallas CANT sign them and look for ways that they CAN.

    All cuban has to do is package Marion and Beaubois together for a tpe and BAM… They can offer both players the max…. Its pretty simple people. I get the feeling that everyone who writes.this.stuff is from Brooklyn… And they are as ignorant as they come

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      I’m from the other coast, not Brooklyn. But I will say I heard front office people all over All-Star Weekend saying any team that took on Marion and helped out the Mavs would be shunned by other teams. Nobody wants to help Dallas right now.

    • kinggw - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Actually it seems more like your a Mavs fans who cant get it through your head that its not likely that they land both Howard and Williams. Personally, I dont think they land either. Its possible, but highly unlikely. Nobody is going to take a 34 year old Marion to help out the Mavs. Furthermore, Dallas isnt Chicago, LA, or Boston, they dont have some great history or mystique that draws free agents there. In fact Cuban has never landed a major free agent. They acquire most of their talent through trades.

      • wlubake - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        Miami isn’t Chicago, LA or Boston either. They managed a couple big name free agents. What Dallas has is some cap flexibility, a superstar (albeit an aging one), warm weather, an owner that pampers his players (above and beyond other owners), the #4 media market and no state income tax. Oh, and shiny new rings.

        The other point is, Dallas would only be the Deron, Dwight and Dirk (“Triple D in Big D” – copyright that now) show for a couple years. Then Dirk’s contract runs out, and they can attract some younger talent with all the free space cleared by Dirk’s departure/retirement. There is the foundation and smart management to keep this thing going and growing.

        Finally, why stay in the Eastern Conference with Miami, Chicago and, to a lesser extent, the Knicks? It will be a much easier road to the Finals in the Western Conference for the next few years with only OKC to battle.

  6. vanderbiltprodigy - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    And if you really want to be a homer… Fine.

    Ny has an 8% state income tax right? Thats almost 16 MILLION dollars over the life of a max contract. You say they’ll make it up in endorsements? How much do you think Tony Romo is getting paid to sport Nike gear? You dont think Deron, Dwight, and Dirk would get huge endorsements in Big D? Think again… There are other great places to live on America other than NY where sports stars are paid top dollar.

    So hypothetically… Even if cubes can only shed 8 million in salary insteas of 11 million ( with Beaubois’ contract) … Dallas would still offer MORE money

    • kinggw - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Now you just sound silly. First of all Romo sports Starter gear, not Nike. Secondly, Dallas doesnt compare to New York as an advertising market. Im not a big fan of the city of New York but lets not kid ourselves. Whether you like it or not the Nets can offer better deals than the Mavs.

      • jab0486 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:26 AM

        You sound silly, silly. Deron is from Dallas, and Nike owns Starter…

  7. vanderbiltprodigy - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Nets fans have sucked for the past 15 years almost and they’ve been SO desperate its hard to get see reality… Even their sports writers

    • kinggw - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      And they have been to the Finals as many times as the Mavericks.

  8. tomtravis76 - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Come on,Kurt, you’re a writer for NBC on their sports blog about Pro Basketball, at least you could do is take a moment and re-read your story before you publish.

    “then they amnesty Brandon Haywood,”… Its Brendan Haywood.

  9. bearsstillsuck - Feb 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Does Kurt really comment on his own articles?

  10. bigmeechy74 - Feb 29, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    On a side note, The mavs are basically the exact same team as the spurs. But they are even more boring to watch. In fact, they are the most boring team to watch in the entire nba besides toronto and charlotte.

    • wlubake - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      As in they don’t dunk much, play defense and don’t turn the ball over? I can take that.

  11. losangelasbasketball - Feb 29, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Im just here for the free beer….

  12. wlubake - Feb 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Kurt, here’s a purely hypothetical question for you. I know it is beyond unlikely, but is there anything in the CBA or NBAPA rules that prevents Dirk or Marion from agreeing to a pay cut? Say, again hypothetically, that each guy has made enough money for 2 lifetimes but LOVED the feeling of winning a ring. Could they redo their deals and just give up money they are entitled to without the Mavs taking a cap hit on it?

    They do this in football because there’s the threat of getting cut. Here, there are no savings when you cut someone. So I know it would have to be a completely selfless act. That said, is there any rule preventing this?

  13. losangelasbasketball - Feb 29, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Dwight and deron? Why stop there dallas? Ray allen is on the block…you might even be able to trade odom back to the lakers for gasol and byum…dallas fans gettin crazy…

  14. tuckyous - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM


    Shut up already.

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