Jul 3, 2012, 9:40 PM EST
The Mavericks blew it up for this? To finish as runner-up for Deron Williams?
The Mavericks put aside one of Dirk Nowitzki‘s precious few quality remaining seasons on the promise of potential hope?
And Mark Cuban may yet find a new franchise cornerstone moving forward.
But the reality is Nowitzki is an expiring commodity, one who now won’t play with Deron Williams, because Williams saw a brighter future in Brooklyn than the one Mark Cuban hoped to create in Dallas.
If 2010 free agency is an example, the runner-up tends not to come out of the process in the best of position. Having lost out on LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh that summer, the Bulls settled for Carlos Boozer. Now there is a chance Boozer eventually is amnestied should the Bulls match the Rockets’ offer sheet for Omer Asik.
In 2010 free agency, when the Knicks failed in their bids for the Heat’s Big Three, their answer was to sign Amare Stoudemire. New York is still trying to make that work, possibly now as the second-best team in their city.
And in 2010 free agency, when the Hawks couldn’t upgrade, they overpaid Joe Johnson and only now are working their way out of that nightmare.
There are exceptions. The Clippers also paid their requisite LeBron visit in 2010, came up empty-handed, but retained enough flexibility to eventually land Paul last season.
There remains the chance the Mavericks can do the same next summer.
Jason Terry is leaving now.
The Mavericks never got to truly defend their championship.
And Nowitzki again has been put on hold.
Such is the gamble tying a franchise’s future to an all-or-nothing element in free agency.
Under Cuban, the Mavericks have avoided the ultimate rebuild endured by teams such as the Heat, Pistons and to a degree even the Nets.
Tuesday, though, may have presented the ultimate challenge.
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