It will be very hard for the Dallas Mavericks to put up a championship-caliber team in perhaps the last season of franchise’s legend Dirk Nowitzki. But knowing Marc Cuban’s competitive edge, expect the Mavs to pull all the tricks in the bag to keep Dirk’s farewell tour intriguing.

Cap Situation and Incoming Free-Agents

Dallas enters the offseason with total guaranteed salaries of around $60MM, but they are very capable of chasing near max-level free agents like George Hill, Jeff Teague and Jrue Holiday if they can convince Nowitzki to take another pay-cut.

Dallas signed Nowitzki last summer to a two-year deal that pays $25MM per year. The strategy was making the second year of the deal a team option, so they can have the flexibility to pursue their target free-agents at Dirk’s contract expense.

“We wanted to make it a two-year deal with a team option so that people wouldn’t speculate that he was going to retire because Dirk is the type of guy, he’s just a good guy.”

‘if we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let’s do it and if not, let’s give the money to Dirk again which I’m fine with too,” said Cuban, who hailed Nowitzki a consummate teammate and franchise player.

However, the pursuit for an elite playmaker isn’t only the problem for the Mavericks.

Nerlens Noel, whom they acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, will become a restricted free-agent this summer, and he’s expected to command a deal that pays $15MM to $17MM per season.

They also have to decide on the non-guaranteed deals of Nicolas Brussino ($1,312,611), Dorian Finney-Smith ($1,312,611), Salah Mejri ($1,471,382) and Yogi Ferrell ($1,312,611), who turned heads at the point guard spot last season.

Outside free-agency targets:

Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans) – It’s no secret the Mavs are looking for a reliable playmaker until Ferrell becomes ready to take the spot once again. Holiday is ranked among the top-tier guards available in free-agency, and he will ask for more dollars adequate for his status.

George Hill (Utah Jazz) – The Mavs would savor the opportunity of getting this two-way stud.

After reviving his career in Utah (16.9 points and 4.2 assists), Hill has a golden opportunity to maximize his free-agency value that is projected to be around $17MM per season.

Jeff Teague – Despite a drama-filled season in Indiana, the former All-Star point guard still puts up 15.3 points and 7.8 assists. The Mavs are always fond of the flashy playmaker with playoff experience. Teague certainly fits the bill.