Ever since the Dallas Mavericks elected to not bring the majority of their free agents from last season's championship team, there have been rumblings they've been planning on a Miami-like coup in the summer of 2012 by clearing enough cap space to sign both Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.â†µ
Those rumblings have turned into a roar in recent weeks, as Howard's ultimate destination has gripped the NBA in the weeks before the trade deadline.â†µ
Over at SI.com, Zach Lowe has a comprehensive look at the Mavericks salary cap situation going into summer and whether they'll be afford to both players:â†µ
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.â†µ
Dallas will need to unload Shawn Marion and say goodbye to everyone on the roster besides Dirk, Dominique Jones and Rodrigue Beaubois to have a chance at offering both Williams and Howard near-max money.â†µ
While both would be taking a pay cut, they'd stand to make a lot of that back if they can win a championship in what's become one of the NBA's biggest and most glamorous franchises.â†µ
For now, Dallas fans will have to watch Orlando carefully, as the quickest way their plan will fall apart is if the Magic deal Howard to either the LA Lakers and the New Jersey Nets before the deadline.