DALLAS — While he continues to weigh his options on what to do with the No. 13 selection in the first round of the NBA Draft on June 27, Dallas Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban has also maintained his focus on the start of free agency.
Continuing to make his radio rounds to express his sales pitch to free agents before they hit the open market July 1, Cuban made it clear that the Mavericks will approach this summer with a two-year plan in place. And with veterans Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter all slated to enter the last year of their contracts next season, Cuban says the goal will be to build a roster capable of competing at a high level for years to come.
“It’s not as complicated as it sounds,” Cuban said when joining Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket for an interview Monday while detailing his plan to make a splash in free agency in both of the next two summers. “It’s interesting and fascinating, because you’re trying to anticipate what other teams are doing and it’s kind of played out the way we thought it would play out. Now, it doesn’t mean these free agents are going to come and sign with us. It doesn’t mean the trades are just automatically there, but it does mean we’ve got some different alternatives. And part of the sales pitch that we’re making if we sign one of these max-out type guys is Dirk comes off the books next year and Shawn Marion comes off the books next year. All we have is Jared (Cunningham) and Jae (Crowder) on the books next year, and so in essence you get to come in and it’s you and we have room for two more max-out free agents. So that’s why when I talk about a two-year plan that’s what the concept is there.
“Part of our sales pitch is, ‘Look, we’re not going to try to fool you and say you and Dirk and Shawn and Vince and filler basically are a championship-caliber team. Maybe you get on a run. Maybe we get the right guys and maybe we’re pretty good, but the reality is come next year you’re going to work with us and Dirk to go out there and pick your team.’”
While Cuban will not be able to have a face-to-face with potential signees for a few more weeks, his desire to build a team capable of recapturing the title over the next two seasons is undeniable. However, even if the Mavs don’t cash in on one of the available big names, Cuban says the offseason could still be a success if the front office is able to upgrade the talent level of a roster that missed the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.
“I’d say we’re in a good position and we’ve got a lot of opportunities to take advantage of, but I can’t lie and say, ‘Look, this is a slam dunk. There’s no doubt.’ But, you know, there’s only one direction for us to go and that’s to get better,” Cuban confessed.
He added: “I think if we get one of our big names, that would be successful and put us on the two-year plan. I think if we don’t get one of the two big names and we sign two or three guys I think that make us good this year and allows us to compete for the fifth or sixth playoff spot or better and still keeps our cap room for next year … that would also be successful, ‘cause then I think we’ll improve significantly as a team. We’ll have a couple of guys that will be a part of the future foundation, we can bring Dirk and Vince and ‘Trix back with something that makes sense, and then also go out and sign guys.”