Mark Cuban doesn't like to lose. We all know that from his constant cheerleading and occasional fits on the sidelines. With the Mavericks becoming the first team eliminated from the NBA playoffs, Cuban is refusing to say that he made mistakes this past offseason by letting key pieces on the 2011 Championship team like Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea walk in favor of bringing in Delonte West, Vince Carter, and Lamar Odom. Cuban’s reasoning is that the contracts necessary to retain Chandler and Barea would have greatly inhibited the franchise’s ability to make more pivotal moves.
Well Mark, what is it you have planned?
In my head I can see Cuban plotting his NBA revenge while munching away on Fritos down in his personal Owner’s Laboratory, a hidden escape resembling the bat-cave, but with NBA posters and framed jerseys on the walls instead of stalactites and body armor - although, who knows what the crazy Mav's owner really does after hours? All that money from Broadcast.com, really? And who ever watches HDNet? Something just doesn’t smell right.
But while Mavericks fans may have been sour over the losses of Chandler (4 years/$58 million with New York) and Barea (4 years/$19 million with Minnesota), I think Cuban is really onto something in his approach. The Mavericks will shed about $20 million from their salary next season with the expiring contracts of Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, and here are some of the strategies I think Cuban may be concocting:
Cuban hasn’t made his interest in Deron Williams much of a secret, but this offseason could be his best chance to finally join forces with him. Williams has a player option for 2013, but with the amount of money he could lock down by signing a multi-year deal, it would be a bit surprising to see Williams stick it out another year for the lowly Nets. It’s hard to say how many peak years Dirk has left in him, but with Williams next year, the Mavericks would be assured to have one of the league’s best scoring duos.