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P.J. Carlesimo questions Mark Cuban’s intelligence

Mar 22, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

Mark Cuban, Deron Williams w

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was mostly mum about Deron Williams, who re-signed with the Nets rather than choosing his hometown Mavericks this summer, before the teams played Wednesday. But not everyone stayed quiet. Associated Press:

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said he didn’t know if Williams was a little extra motivated against the team he grew up rooting for in his time at The Colony and the one he turned down so he could move to Brooklyn from New Jersey with the Nets.

“But I’m sure he understands that you’re not going to expect intelligent statements from Mark, anyhow,” Carlesimo said.

Maybe the guy coaching a team that owes Williams more than $81 million the next four years – the NBA’s 17th-worst contract, according to Bill Simmons – shouldn’t cast stones at the intelligence of others. Then again, Cuban probably started this spat. Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:

A New York reporter diplomatically pointed out that the Nets are well over the salary cap, with a very good team but one that probably isn’t good enough to win a championship. The reporter asked if Cuban considers that a difficult position to be in.

“Yes,” Cuban said with a smile. “That’s the position we didn’t want to be in.

“Not talking about any one player, but that’s why we were concerned in our approach because if you sign a max-out guy, well, you get to a point where you’re above that (luxury) tax (line) plus $4 million, you’re limited in sign and trades. You’re limited in your ability to use the exception. There’s all kinds of limitations.

Cuban is right. The Nets, 40-28 and holding the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, have little financial flexibility, and they have few players likely to improve dramatically. They have several more players likely to decline in the coming years, especially Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace.

But the Nets made their move. The 32-36 Mavericks are just treading water, essentially wasting a season outside the playoffs and outside the top of the lottery. They’ll have cap room to upgrade their roster this summer, but until they use their flexibility to put together a roster better than the Nets, what good is it?

  1. cbad760 - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    give me a break. The nets have transformed a team that is only a couple of years removed from a historically bad season and was the third worst team in the league last year to a team that most likely will win their division (only a game out on the nix and playiing much better) and have a real shot at the two seed. Mavs are two years away from a championship and are now out of the playoffs with an aging superstar that admits his day as a high level star are running down fast. Dallas’s time as a destination for star players is running out. Brooklyn’s day is dawning. Will this team ever be good enough to oust the heat? Not likely, but not likely from anyone right now. From 12 wins to almost 50 in two years seams like a pretty good plan to me.

    • somekat - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      yeah right, if your “plan” is to become a playoff contender, with no shot at a title. The Nets put themselves, purposely for some reason, in the worst spot you can be as an NBA franchise. Too good to get a top pick, nowhere near good enough to beat the top teams in the playoffs. Even worse, with their contracts, they can’t do anything about it for the next 3 years

    • borderline1988 - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      I agree. It’s harder than it seems to build a championship team (even if you tank for many years) so a top-4 Eastern Conference team isn’t bad for the fans to enjoy.

      But the underlying point is hard to argue with: This Nets team is not good enough to win a championship and they’re not going to get better with age. They’re also loaded with bad contracts, so essentially they’re stuck in this situation for years to come.

  2. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 22, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Seems like both new york teams are stuck in the same position others mentioned above. Not good enough to win a title with aging players on max deals. And not bad enough to get good talent in the draft to build with. Although (I think) they still have draft picks to package if they can unload some $ with them., unlike the knicks who gave them to denver in the melo trade with galo,chandler and more.

  3. kb2408 - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Dallas won’t be winning another title anytime soon either.

  4. dko83 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Mark Cuban needs to choke this dude..

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