DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks are about $2 million away from having the money they need to offer Los Angeles Laker center Dwight Howard a maxed-out contract. But the Mavs won't get rid of any players to make that happen.
At least not now.
For now, the Mavs are protecting center Bernard James, forward Jae Crowder and guard Josh Akognon. Their contracts, for now, will count against the Mavs' salary cap next season, although the contract of James and Akognon is not guaranteed.
Brandan Wright continues to remain on the Mavs' cap, unless he signs with another team. Also, Shawn Marion likely will not opt out of the last year of a contract that'll pay him $9.3 million next season.
When and if the Mavs get the go from Howard and his representatives that he will sign a free agent contract with Dallas, they will do financially what they need to do to offer Howard a maxed-out four-year, $88 million ontract.
Free agency starts at 11:01 p.m. CDT tonight. The Mavs will meet with Howard in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
-- Dwain Price
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