DALLAS — With the NBA Draft now just three weeks away, speculation regarding what the Dallas Mavericks will do with the 13th overall pick in the first round continues to swirl while proprietor Mark Cuban and the front office mull over all options.
First reporting that the Mavericks would likely trade out of the pick to free up salary cap space in an attempt to lure a big-name free agent this summer, ESPN’s Chad Ford also says it’s possible that Dallas’ brass will choose to take advantage of a provision in the collective bargaining agreement that allows a team to draft an international player and keep his contract off the books by “stashing” him overseas. Cuban’s recent interview with ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM offers evidence that the thought has certainly crossed his mind.
“If we like the person at 13, we’ll keep it and we’ll figure something out elsewhere to free up cap space to get there,” he explained, “but that’ll be an option for us. If our guy doesn’t get there, we’ll look at trading it. … If a guy falls, we’ll be happy to take him and figure out how to work the cap. If no one wants to make a trade for whatever reason, we can maybe get a guy to stash overseas somewhere. If we put him overseas and he doesn’t play, he won’t count against our cap. There are so many different options, and we’ll explore them all.”
According to the current CBA, in the event that a first-round pick signs with a non-NBA team, the player’s applicable rookie scale contract amount can be excluded from the team’s cap amount while retaining his draft rights. That would free up $1.66 million off the books for the Mavs as they look to become a major player in free agency on July 1.
Still, with a decision three weeks from being made, nothing seems set in stone at this point.