The Pelicans have built a fragile core around Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, the rest of the roster leaving plenty to be desired. And New Orleans’ third-best player, Jrue Holiday, is entering unrestricted free agency.
Expect the 26-year-old Holiday to have plenty of suitors, including the 76ers – and Mavericks.
League sources say members of the Mavericks organization view Holiday as a free agent target this summer.
The Mavericks hold a $25 million team option on Dirk Nowitzki, and he plans to return. Dallas will have to decide on that option – part of a retirement-gift contract – before free agency. Maybe Nowitzki would happily take less to add talent, but he can’t know whom the Mavericks will lure until the option deadline.
The smart play: Convince Nowitzki that the team will do right by him even if it declines the option. The extra cap space could help, and if Dallas strikes out in free agency, it could always re-sign Nowitzki to a similar salary.
If the Mavericks decline Nowitzki’s option, it’d still probably take more tinkering to clear enough cap space for Holiday. But if they exercise Nowitzki’s option, it’d take a fairly large overhaul to make room for Holiday.
After tanking, Dallas has the No. 9 pick in a point guard-heavy draft. That might be a more cost-effective and realistic way to land a point guard.