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Could Enes Kanter sign with the Dallas Mavericks?

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Kanter is still on the market, and the Mavs just lost DeAndre Jordan.

Soon to be team photo?
Soon to be team photo?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

To be clear, there have been zero overtures from the Mavericks about a potential deal with Enes Kanter. But let's take a look at the facts....

  • Dallas originally planned to anchor their team with a center, DeAndre Jordan. That didn't happen.
  • Dallas is still signing Wesley Matthews, a 28 year old shooting guard coming off of a borderline All-Star season. Matthews reportedly got a chance to opt out after Jordan's departure and didn't.
  • Dallas has $8 Million committed to Dirk, and $15 Million committed to Chandler Parsons.
  • Enes Kanter is far and away the best free agent center technically available. Jordan Hill and Kevin Seraphin are also there, but both are a step below Kanter in terms of size, scoring, and rebounding ability. Kanter is also the youngest of the three.
  • According to Royce Young, if the Thunder signed Enes Kanter at the max, they would pay $19,902,393 in taxes. Last year, OKC was only $2 Mil over the tax. Technically OKC could move the contracts of Novak and PJ3 and only pay $8.7 Mil, but that's easier said than done. In other words, the amount at which OKC signs Kanter will be critical to their cap future.

Thus, it's not too crazy to think that Mark Cuban could throw his money around and offer a maximum deal to Kanter. To be clear, even if Kanter accepts a max offer from the Mavericks, the Thunder have the right to match the offer and take Kanter anyway. And the Thunder have said they are willing to match any offer. But given the cap difficulties surrounding Kanter's potential contract, OKC is definitely exploring cost-cutting options. And if OKC can't find a way to clear enough room for Kanter's max deal, I could very well see the Thunder letting him walk.

Of course, Dallas could go other routes. They could try to shape up for a playoff run with what else left in free agency. Or Dallas could simply rebuild. In my opinion, Dallas will still try to win. In my entire adult life, I've never seen the Mavericks attempt to tank. Cuban is a proven spender, and usually finds a way to shore up his team with money every year. I mean, Dirk's been younger, but there's enough talent still in Dallas to form a decent core. Plus, I'm betting Cuban would have a hard time convincing anyone to take Chandler Parsons' contract, especially this late into free agency.

In any case, time will tell. Free agents have been able to officially sign contracts since yesterday.