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Things did not go well in the early Tyson Chandler-Mavericks talks

Aug 6, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade Getty Images

Saying that Tyson Chandler won the Mavericks an NBA title would not be far off. You can’t point to him as the sole difference maker, but then, this a team sport, who is? (A: Jordan) But he was in large part the biggest differential in the Mavericks teams that had failed for ten years and the one that finally captured the ring. It was his toughness at both ends of the floor, his control of the paint, his crafty, smart plays combined with simple brute force that separated the Mavericks from the Lakers, the Thunder, the Heat.

So he’s got to come back to Dallas, right?

Right?

Slipped into the beginning of a wider-ranging interview with ESPN earlier this week, Chandler dropped an interesting nugget about how contract talks went before the lockout began and no one can talk to anyone. From ESPN:

In late June, after the title, the Mavericks had a period when they could have negotiated a new contract with you before the lockout. What happened?

Chandler: We talked about getting something done before the lockout, but it just didn’t happen. … we were so far apart, we might as well not have even met.

via Tyson Chandler, speaking freely – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN.

That last part is surprising. It indicates that either Chandler considers his contributions important enough to trump the total effort of trying to keep the Mavericks’ championship core together, that his age (Chandler turns 29 this fall, but has a lot of miles on his tires) and injury concerns are irrelevant to the conversation, or that the Mavericks are wanting Chandler to return for significantly less than market value just for the good of the team.

This Mavericks team was marked by experience. Veteran, some would say old players who understand how the game works, and how the business of the game works. It was a fairly close-knit, but very mercenary group of players. To that end, it should be no surprise to the Mavericks that Chandler is going to look to get his. Yes, this team would love to come back and try and recreate the magic, but Chandler knows how big a part he played in that championship run, and he’s going to pursue getting that last big contract to set up his retirement at its end (depending on how long the max contract is after the CBA).

Whenever this stupid lockout ends, it’s going to be a challenge for the Mavs to determine just how much they want the “difference maker” who’s not a star back on their team. Good centers in this league don’t grow on trees.

  1. urodaddy07 - Aug 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    Hard to make a comment on this. How much is he making now and what’s he asking for? It would be nice if these pieces had more information and were less of a rumor mill. In any case the Mavs need a Tyson Chandler type player to anchor the defense and get rebounds.

  2. goforthanddie - Aug 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Well, he already has his title, and it is his last chance to get paid. He’ll get offers, but I’m sure Cuban will offer a reasonable deal and the best chance at another title.

  3. indysportsguy1 - Aug 6, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    He’d look good in a pacer uniform

  4. downtowndanny - Aug 6, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    1st of all Mark Cuban (love him or hate him) is not a dummy, by any means. But i’m watching him on the tv show Sharks spending 100’s of thousands on companies that “potentially” can be successful, so I know dam well he knows what Chandler means to his old school team in terms of being viable contenders for the next 3-4 years. This isn’t Kwame Brown were talking about, outside of Marcus Camby there isn’t another guy that plays the 5 with the same physical makeup & intensity. Cuban hates to lose, so the chances of Tyson in another jersey seems slim, besides this is the best team he has been on to date, so theres a lot of posturing on both sides. which is usually how deals get done anyway..

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