Mavs Cuban: 1-on-1 On Franchise-Changing Day
In the eyes of the engineer of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, the franchise essentially re-made itself as it, within the span of about half-a-day, forged agreements first with Wes Matthews on a four-year deal worth upwards of $50 million and then with DeAndre Jordan on a four-year deal likely worth $81.13 million.
And if you don't see these two moves as "franchise-changing,'' you probably need to be aware of the direction Cuban would've steered his team has it not enjoyed this sort of day. More on that in a moment ...
"We are adding two incredible players,'' Cuban tells DB.com in a 1-on-1 visit from California, where he and his recruiting team (featuring Chandler Parsons) have spend the week working, partying, working and partying some more. "It gives us a great young core.''
We often say that a team doesn't need to "get younger,'' it just needs to "get better.'' But in the case of the Mavs -- and the view of Cuban and especially coach Rick Carlisle -- Dallas' age was becoming a detriment because it went hand-in-hand with short-term signings and band-aid fixes and instability. Jordan is 26. Parsons is 26. Matthews is 28. You'd like to hope rookie Justin Anderson is part of the rotation and he's 21.
"We had to get younger,'' Cuban tells DB.com ... and then in an ensuing interview on KTCK he expanded on that:
"There's only a few ways to get younger and ... we wanted to get Wes, he was a target for us all summer and we wanted to get DeAndre as well, but if we got shut out, we weren't going to try and fill the roster. We literally had the discussion that if we couldn't get a serious free agent, whether it was DeAndre or one of the others guys that are still out there or any of the earlier ones that went, that it was time to take a step back.''
So, DB.com asks, "Mark, you team you would've gone 'Team Tank''?
"Absolutely, yes,'' Cuban replies.
But the recruiting work of Parsons (and, of course, Cuban, Donnie, Carlisle and Dirk) helped Dallas avoid that quite probably ugly fate. Cuban's reasoning would've been that so many other teams (especially in the West) are good that it would've been easy to be bad.
But instead? It's suddenly easier to be good. Maybe really good, once the rest of the roster is flushed out. (Sign and trades are in play. Examples? among other techniques, We've got three ideas here ... and more ideas here.
"Wes gives us toughness, skill and shooting,'' Cuban tells us. "DJ is on track to be an franchise player, somebody we can build a team around for years to come.''
And Parsons? What impression did he make on the boss in his own franchise-changing way?
"Chandler,'' Cuban says, "will by running all my sales organizations after he retires.''
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