DALLAS -- There obviously will be many changes to the Dallas Mavericks' roster in the coming weeks. But as of now, the Mavs only have six players on their roster with written contracts for the 2013-'14 season.
They are Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Jae Crowder, Bernard James and Josh Akognon. Nowitzki will be the highest paid Mavs for the 2013-'14 season at $22,721,381, followed by Marion ($9,316,796), Carter ($3.18 million) and Crowder ($788,872).
James and Akognon each have non-guaranteed contracts that'll pay them $788,872 next season. But of course, even some of these players may not be on the Mavs' roster next season if their contracts are needed to help the Mavs acquire Los Angeles Laker free agent center Dwight Howard.
Meanwhile, the Mavs did not tender qualifying offers to point guards Darren Collison and Rodrigue Beaubois. Those two players are now unrestricted free agents.
In addition, the Mavs' top brass -- including Nowitzki -- are on their way to Los Angeles to make a strong pitch for Howard. The addition of Howard could make other free agents come and play for the Mavs for a cheaper contract, since it would give Dallas championship pedigree and two marquee players in Nowitzki and Howard.
All teams are trying to stack the deck in order to catch up with the Miami Heat, who have captured the past two NBA titles by stacking the deck with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Mavs have one nugget in their favor in their glorious pitch to Howard. The Heat's Big 3 are 11-1 in playoff series, with Nowitzki and the Mavs the only team to beat them in the 2011 NBA Finals.
Nowitzki was the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 NBA Finals.
-- Dwain Price
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