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Mark Cuban plans to lure top free agents by giving them roster input

Jun 17, 2013, 4:36 PM EDT

Mark Cuban AP

The Mavericks enter the off-season as one of the major players in free agency.

Not only do  they have money to spend, but they also have a history of championship level contention, a still very good Dirk Nowitzki, and Mark Cuban to close the deal when it’s time to make the pitch on why the Mavericks are the place to be.

In a recent interview, Cuban opened up about what that pitch would include and it apparently at least part of it is major input on who will make up the roster beyond next season.

From Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas:

“In essence, you get to come in and, it’s you and we have room for two more max free agents (next year),” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said during a Monday appearance on KTCK-AM. “That’s why when I talked about a two-year plan, that’s the concept there.

“So part of our sales pitch is, look, we’re not going to try to fool you and say that you and Dirk (Nowitzki) and Shawn Marion and Vince (Carter) and fill are basically a championship team. Maybe we get on a run, maybe we’re pretty good. But the reality is you’re going to work with us and Dirk to get out there and pick your team.”

It’s true that the Mavs have set themselves up well financially both this summer and next. And with Dirk Nowitzki already on record that he’d take a pay-cut after his current contract expires next summer, Dallas will be in position to sign some high salaried players to form a new core that would potentially compete for championships. So, for any free agent that signs on this summer, the allure of being able to have input on who made up the roster moving forward could be a great pull.

However, is this really a good idea? Players aren’t necessarily the best evaluators of talent or have the know how to build a roster that can compete for a championship. Be it Kobe Bryant‘s rant to trade Andrew Bynum in the summer of 2007 (only to have the team go to three straight Finals with Bynum playing a key role) or whispers that Dwight Howard had strong input on the Magic’s acquisitions of Glen Davis and Gilbert Arenas, it’s probably best that players stay out of the General Management business and stick to improving their own games.

Further, let’s not act like the Mavericks are in the driver’s seat to get any of the top tier free agents this summer even with Cuban promising input on future players. The top two players on the market — Dwight Howard and Chris Paul — are both more than likely to stay with their current teams or bolt for the Rockets or the Hawks before they sign with the Mavericks this summer.

That said, Cuban has the money and he clearly has a plan to try and get someone to commit to signing in Dallas this summer. Maybe making a player a de facto assistant GM will be the clincher.

  1. wlubake - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Ok, I can get why they stay put for the money. I can see why they go to Houston to play with Harden. But the Hawks? What are they offering that’s better than the Mavs?

    • kilo0986 - Jun 17, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Exactly. I don’t know what it is with the media always overlooking Dallas. Other than the redundant and vague “its not a good fit”, they never give a reason.

  2. wlubake - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Also, giving stars input is different than giving them control. Nelson and Cuban will make the final decisions, but they will confer with Dirk and any other max player for input. I think this strategy works much better with CP3 than Howard, however.

    • badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:53 AM

      Yes, one is a floor coach wearing a uniform, the other is a clown wearing a uniform.

  3. cantonbound13 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Best owner in the NBA. Wish he’d buy the Knicks.

    • dondada10 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Wish he’d buy the Mets.

      • edwardemanuelson - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:42 PM

        DIsagree about him being the BEST owner in the NBA, but I think he’s near the top. While I certainly question some of his moves, and sometimes what comes out of his mouth, I most certainly admire his ambition, and his willingness and commitment to building a contender. He understands that if you win, the fans will come.

        That being said, I wish when the Chicago Cubs were for sale a few years ago, the Tribune would’ve sold the team to him (he was interested), instead of those gosh-awful Ricketts! For better or worse, think what he’d spend in a sport that DOESN’T have a salary cap! They’d have at least been in the playoffs by now.

  4. rayburns - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    This is just codifying what’s been in place for years. The big time free agents have always had some say on who is and isn’t on the roster (heck, they even have a say on the coaches).

    Cuban is just, again, letting everyone know that the emperor really doesn’t have clothes and we should stop fooling ourselves.

    • spursareold - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      When has this ever worked, though? Players just want their friends around, even if a better player fit is available.

  5. asimonetti88 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    “However, is this really a good idea? Players aren’t necessarily the best evaluators of talent or have the know how to build a roster that can compete for a championship.”

    No, they aren’t the best evaluators of talent, and no, it’s not a good idea. Players still love the idea of it though.

  6. true15 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Dallas feeling left out with Houston and San Antonio, making all the right moves. i say howard to houston with a SF. spurs win championship sign greg oden and get thomas robinson from houston. Dallas just signs every free agent they see.

  7. jamieaadams - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Take the words “roster input” off the headline. Now finish the headline with your own two-word phrase.

  8. nawlinsmitty - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    The most agitating owner in the league maybe. Go ahead, let the inmates run the prison. See where it will get you.

  9. losanginsight - Jun 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    What is this clown going to try next? Part ownership for players or try to lure players into a windowless van with candy?

    • badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      For most of the players, 99%, a limo with a blonde half naked out of the sun roof would work better than the van.Howard would choose the candy van.

  10. mackcarrington - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    There’s nothing wrong with letting a player voice his opinion on free agents, and then going out and do whatever you want to anyway.

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