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Mavericks apparently had a “players on expiring contracts” issue last year

Sep 23, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

At the end of the piece we brought you yesterday from the Dallas Morning Newsabout how Dirk Nowitzki‘s feeling good, feeling great, ready, ready to celebrate, there was an interesting little stick at the end.

Nowitzki also made it clear that he is in no mood this season to hear about players who are on the last year of their contract or feel like they are headed for another destination in the off-season. That mentality crept into the minds of some players last season.

“We are all professionals, and I expect everyone to play at a high level and give it their best no matter what their contract situation is,” Nowitzki said. “It is an honor to represent the Mavericks and that is how we will approach it.”

via Dirk Nowitzki excited about Mavericks’ overhaul, says knee is good to go | Dallas Mavericks Blog.

So that’s a not-so-subtle shot at former teammates who were running up the whine tab last year trying to get contracts they didn’t end up getting. Jason Terry‘s a reasonable suspect here, as he talked quite a bit about where he might go in the offseason, including Miami, something that had to tweak Mark Cuban if he read it. But that would be pretty shocking considering how much Terry was valued in the locker room. Jason Kidd also spoke on record about the situation, but never made any sort of disruptive claims. Whoever was upset last year at least kept it in house.

But you can’t really blame them. The Mavericks had several guys looking for their last payday of their careers. These things do take a toll, especially after watching Cuban let Tyson Chandler and Jose Juan Barea walk just months before.

Well at least it won’t be a problem for a whi… oh, wait. Five players have expiring contracts this season and have eleven players whose contracts expire between now and July 1 of 2014. It’s part of the business. Dirk can hope things will be different and with a different crew, it might be. But as long as Cuban values flexibility (as well he should) this is going to be a side-effect.


  1. 00maltliquor - Sep 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    “…running up the whine tab…”


    • loungefly74 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      i give much respect to the Mavs for fielding a competitive team for several years…with that said, man…seems like their window instantly closed, i mean, really fast!

  2. davidly - Sep 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    No biggie. Since they’ll be playing from the cellar all season, neither players, nor management will have any leverage over the other.

    • tk41 - Sep 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      How do you figure? They are an excellently coached team with one of the NBA’s elite players. Their roster is consistently one of the most turned-over in the NBA, yet they remain playoff competitive in bad years & championship level in good years. They also have one of the most innovative and aggressive front offices that consistently demonstrate the willingness to add pieces as the season goes on. They have added an above-average starting NBA center in Kaman & young scorer in Mayo. I don’t believe they will play championship basketball, but its completely baseless to believe they will be anywhere near the cellar.

      • davidly - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        Good points. You busted me using hyperbole, but allow me to tell you more specifically what I mean:
        They dropped fifteen percent more games last year from their championship season. I daresay that if they’d played the full 82, they’d’ve fallen even more.

        By cellar, I mean that they are going to be hugging the bottom of their division with the Hornets–which is only one more place downward (though I still think they’ll finish last–and they probably won’t make the playoffs.

        You are right. They have excellent coaching. Too bad they had their lifeblood drained before they could try to defend their title.

      • borderline1988 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Chandler was everything to that team. He’s the most under-rated player in the league. He essentially helped Dallas to the their first championship (even though they had better teams for about a decade and never got that far).
        Then he goes to NY, a team that’s notorious for poor defense (hello Amare, Carmelo, Lin) and suddenly NY is one of the best defensive teams in the league.

        Cuban should have locked him up. Was the only mistake on his part. Letting Barea, Terry, Kidd, etc. walk doesn’t mean much. They are all replaceable. But there are only ~4 players in the league that can single-handedly vault a defense to the top – Chandler, Howard, Lebron and Garnett. Those guys are rarer than elite scorers and even superstars (such as Deron Williams).

        Dallas dropped off big time last year, but if you think it’s b/c Barea left or due to a ‘championship hangover’, you’re delusional. There will be a further dropoff this year. The team is too old and slow, and will not be able to guard anyone. Sure, they have some terrific individual scorers. But that’s not enough to be a good team in today’s NBA.

      • tk41 - Sep 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM

        I admit Chandler was a critical part of that team, however they opted cap flexibility. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t a terribly good decision, but was defensible at the time. I agree that letting the other guys walk had a minimal impact on their future, nor did I ever suggest differently.
        Chandler has helped NY immensely, but they still aren’t a championship level because their key players do not compliment each other. Its unreasonable to believe adding far over the hill vets like Camby or Kidd will change that.
        Its ironic you mention how “old” the Mavs are as their oldest player (Kidd) just joined the Knicks whom you rave about. Its very likely that the Knicks will be one of the oldest teams in the league next year and, barring drastic change, will be much older than the Mavs.

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