Mark Cuban has been open about the Mavericks aggressively exploring opportunities to trade the No. 13 overall pick.
Cuban is adamant, however, that the rumors about the Mavs being willing to part with the pick for minimal return if a team takes Shawn Marion’s $9.32 million salary off their hands are inaccurate. Cuban insists that the Mavs have not had any talks with teams about trading Marion.
“Not a single discussion,” Cuban said via email to ESPNDallas.com.
At the moment, the Mavs have $41.81 million worth of commitments and cap holds that would count against next season’s cap, which is expected to be set at $58.5 million. That number could increase by six figures if they opt to keep Brandan Wright’s Early Bird rights and/or the nonguaranteed contracts of Bernard James and Josh Akognon.
The Mavs need to make some cuts to have enough cap space to offer Dwight Howard a max contract, which would have a first-year salary of $20.51 million. That’s why they are shopping the lottery pick that comes with a cap hold of $1.66 million.
Trading Marion into another team’s cap space would create enough wiggle room for the Mavs to sign a max player (Howard or Chris Paul) and likely another starter. However, Cuban has repeatedly referenced the 35-year-old Marion’s value to the Mavs and expressed interest in re-signing the only player other than Dirk Nowitzki who remains on the roster from the 2011 title team.
Something else worth considering with the Marion rumors: The Mavs probably wouldn’t do themselves any favors in their pursuit of Howard if they dealt Marion to a team he considers undesirable. Agent Dan Fegan represents both Howard and Marion.