But will anyone highly covet him in free agency?
At the top of the Mavericks’ wish list this year is Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard
This runs somewhat counter to a report that Dallas doesn’t intend to pay Howard near the max – though the notions obviously aren’t mutually exclusive. Still, in this free-agent environment, it will probably take near a max starting salary to lure Howard. If the Mavericks aren’t willing to offer that, do they really put him atop their wish list?
Howard would be a nice fit in Dallas, which is trying to maximize Nowitzki’s final years. So, Howard being on the wrong side of 30 isn’t the problem it’d be other places. He’d upgrade the Mavericks’ rim protection – important next to Nowitzki – and benefit from the Nowitzki-induced floor spacing Rick Carlisle schemes up.
Dallas projects to have about $20 million in cap space, which might not be enough for Howard – but other players could be moved/on the move. That’s not too much to ask if Howard is the team’s top priority.