Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was widely criticized for breaking up his championship roster after the 2010-11 season, but he is staying true to his initial plan. On Saturday Cuban appeared on 103.3 FM’s ESPN Dallas Game Day, and shared his thought process on the direction of his franchise.
Something the outspoken owner stressed a lot is that he essentially has a two-year plan in place, during which he wants to bring the Mavericks back to the top:
“We want to be a championship team. We’ve never said we have to be a championship team this year. We want to be a better team, a top-seed team. If we get the top free agent, that doesn’t leave us a whole lot of flexibility to add a lot of players, but we have a good nucleus around them. We know we’ll have a good team, but we won’t know if we have a great team. If you look at this like a two-year plan, then we think we’re on a track to have a great team by the end of next year.
- Mark Cuban
Ideally, Dallas would love to land either Dwight Howard or Chris Paul this summer, but even if that isn’t the case, Cuban has no intention of rushing into a bunch of bad contracts just to make Dallas a decent playoff team.
While the team’s superstar, Dirk Nowitzki, has been pretty annoyed with the Mavericks since the 2011 championship, he seems to be buying into Cuban’s strategy. Dirk will be taking a pay cut when his current deal expires, which is certainly a good pitch for this year’s top free agents — even if one elite player might not be enough to bring Dallas back to the top, with Nowitzki eventually taking a pay cut the team could add another superstar next summer. As for how big the pay cut will be, that is entirely up to Nowitzki himself, according to Cuban:
“I’ll let Dirk decide that [amount of his pay cut]. It’ll just depend on how strongly he feels about who we’re bringing. That dude has saved every nickel he’s ever had. He’s not worried about paying for his funeral. Dirk wants to win, and his heart is in the right place.
- Mark Cuban
Cuban also said that the team’s 13th pick in the 2013 NBA draft is currently up in the air. The Mavericks could very well trade the pick for cap relief, or end up taking a player if they feel a guy could benefit the team. However, Cuban insists that they will not rush a decision in that regard, and if they do make a deal, it will most likely be on draft day.
Cuban has a plan. All that remains to be seen is whether it will work.