The Dallas Mavericks aren’t messing around.
We know they are interested in targeting Jrue Holiday, one of this summer’s 10 best free agents. But they aren’t alone, and they need to clear enough cap space to sign him. Even then, they still have to contend with the New Orleans Pelicans’ ability to offer a fifth year, as well as aggressive overtures from other suitors.
How will they give themselves a leg up in negotiations?
By targeting Jrue’s brother, Justin Holiday, as well.
From SI.com’s Jake Fischer:
The Dallas Mavericks have emerged as serious contenders to sign Jrue Holiday and his brother Justin, according to league sources.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 14, 2017
The Holiday brothers want to play together, and Justin’s value skyrocketed last season with the New York Knicks, so this isn’t a bad approach by the Mavericks. But they need the cap space to make it happen.
Declining Dirk Nowitzki’s team option and waiving Devin Harris’ non-guaranteed deal gives them a clear path to $20-plus million in room. That’s not even enough to sign Jrue on his own. Perhaps the brothers are willing to take less so they can join up, but there’s a chance Justin fetches mid-level money—$8.4 million—elsewhere.
Conservatively speaking, the Mavericks may need about $35 million in cap space to sign both. That gives Jrue near-max money while paying Justin market value. And to even sniff that much spending power, the Mavericks will need to offload J.J. Barea and Dwight Powell.
Moving either of them shouldn’t be a problem, but will Dallas go to such lengths? Is Justin considered a viable replacement for Harrison Barnes or Wesley Matthews, in which case one of them could become cap fodder? And let’s not forget, Nowitzki needs to take minimum-level or exception-level money for this all to work. Will he make that stark of a financial concession?
Squeezing in both Holiday brothers is a long shot, but if there’s a team that’s bold enough to try, it’s the Mavericks.