NBA Rumors: Former Pac-12 Most Improved Player Leaves Dallas For Free Agency
With all teams focused on top names like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis, there are also some less popular names like Dwight Powell who will test NBA free agency. The 27-year-old center-forward will reportedly decline a player option for the 2019-20 NBA campaign which would have paid him around $10.2 million.
At 6-foot-11, there is no denying that several teams could check in on the former Stanford University standout, Yahoo Sports said. He was the 45th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets and also played with the Boston Celtics on the same year. Last season with the Mavericks, Powell averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per outing. He also holds a good field goal shooting clip at 59.7-percent and it looks like more improvements are forthcoming.
Other than the offensive numbers, Powell has also been a force to reckon with at the defensive end. He is a good rim protector and can guard anyone, forcing them to extend their games to the perimeter according to NBA.com. He looms as one of the good role players to check out in free agency, someone a lot of teams can use next NBA season.
For Dallas, it frees up more cap space with Powell off the books, Forbes.com said. The Mavs total cap will be reduced from $69.2 million to $52 million, giving them roughly $61.6 million in practical cap space. With the Mavericks expected to scour NBA free agency for another star to join Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the impending exit of Powell will advertently be a big help.
It should be noted that the Mavericks do not have a pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Hence, they will look at top names in free agency who can fit into the system of head coach Rick Carlisle. Among the names who have been linked to the Mavs are Kemba Walker, Khris Middleton, and Nikola Vucevic. All or at least some of those names could be the spark that Mark Cuban is looking for and potentially give Dallas the needed push to make it back to the NBA playoffs.
Mike Conley, perhaps one of the high-profile guards many are expected to pursue, is another name in the mix. However, he does hold a hefty $67 million contract for the next two seasons – numbers that could be too much accommodate unless Carlisle and company are willing to unload some of their current stars.