Now that it looks like New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony may really be moving on after he opts out and becomes an unrestricted free agent, many have pointed to the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets as the most likely destinations for Anthony.
However, the Dallas Mavericks may also get into the mix.
In fact, Mavericks’ star Dirk Nowitzki has told reporters he’d like to play with Anthony.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Mavericks are one team that can actually afford Anthony outright.
Assuming Nowitzki follows the path laid by Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, a new deal in the $10-$12 million per year range gives the Mavs something in the neighborhood of $22.7 million in cap space to work with.
The Mavs are one of the few teams that could present a $20 million per year offer out right, without needing to dump their roster to do it. The Mavs do have some pending free agents in Vince Carter and Shawn Marion they would like to bring back, so Carmelo would need to leave a little bit of cash on the table to make that happen, but if getting a major money deal matters (it always does) the Mavs can make it happen without an elaborate re-arranging of their cap or liquidating young guys or future draft assets to do it.
The Mavericks do present a win-now situation with established players, a proven coach and an owner that has proven he’ll go “all-in” to win.
Don’t count out Dallas.
Anthony put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line.