DALLAS — It’s the question Dallas Mavericks fans are hoping to have answered quickly after free agency begins on July 1.
Armed with financial flexibility for a second straight summer, the Mavericks will try to attract a big-name free agent to Big D to team with 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. However, in an era of superstar collaborations, is it possible for the Mavs to add two marquee names this offseason?
Possible, yes, but very difficult, according to Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban.
“Yeah, it’s possible, but we’re not in a position where we could pull it off,” Cuban said in an interview last week with 105.3 FM The Fan.
“It’d be really, really tough,” he added. “We’d have to trade guys into teams that have just (salary) cap room, which means we’d probably have to send along a first-round pick and future first-round picks and all that.”
While it is clear that the Mavericks will make a pitch at the top-tier free agents as soon as free agency kicks off, it remains to be seen whether they will successfully be able to find a henchman to pair with Nowitzki. Still, with other attractive pieces on the market to add to a team with just six players signed through next season, Cuban and the Mavs will certainly be in a position to upgrade in talent via free agency.
After detailing his two-year plan for the team to return to title form while also trying to build continuity, Cuban will try to reel in at least one of this summer’s big fish. That being said, the proprietor has a great respect for the less heralded names in this year’s free-agent crop, believing the Mavs could build a team capable of returning to the playoffs by signing multiple budding stars should the front office swing and miss while attempting to land a big name.
“I think we could put together a (heck) of a team by getting two or three of those other guys, or even four of those other guys, and so that’s part of the decision process, too. … The challenge, though, is there’s something to be said for having a superstar and there’s something to be said for having a good complement of players at some point. And if you can get the complement of players today, then you go out there, and like we’ve done in the past, trade and hustle to get other guys that potentially can be superstars,” Cuban explained.
He added: “It just depends on what hits. Is it one of the bigger free agents, and at that point we have the $2.5 million cap room and minimums available? And if one of the big names don’t hit, then we have plenty of money to go out and balance out the team and get some good players.”