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Dallas Mavericks Free Agency: Mark Cuban Responds To Departures

Tim McMahon emailed Mark Cuban to get his rationale for the Mavericks' lack of interest in meeting the market to retain Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler and J.J. Barea. Cuban replied with a typically candid explanation. For those who have studied reports of the new system, Cuban's thought process is not a surprise.

What you are missing is that it's not about the luxury tax. It's about the ability to improve our team going forward.

The reality is that in the new system, cap room will have far more value than it had in the past. I realize that everyone is all freaked out about how and where free agents and future free agents are going, but it's not just about getting one guy.

By getting back under the cap, we have a ton of flexibility not only for free agent signings but also trades. If we can get the right guy(s) via free agency, great. if we do it via trade, great. We have that much more flexibility to make moves.

Again, I know this is tough for all of us after winning a championship. But we still believe as much as last year we are in a position to compete for a championship.

The difference is that with this approach, we can be in a position to compete for a championship this year and to reload and continue to compete in future years.

It's those last sentences where I would take issue. Certainly these guys have earned some leeway and they've yet to even make their first move post-lockout. However, unless Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and others are moved for different types of players, we know that this group has defensive flaws that cannot be covered up by any but a few players in the world. That list includes Dwight Howard, Chandler, and ... . It certainly doesn't seem to include anyone who is available now and whom the Mavs have the assets to obtain.  

No, whether Cuban can accept it or not, he has chosen to try to put his team in position to reload in future years instead of competing for a championship this season. There is viability in that approach, but even though his window is held open by a seven footer, it is closing fast.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.