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Mark Cuban says Mavericks are ‘in a better spot’ now than if they signed Dwight Howard

Jul 18, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

Mark Cuban AP

The Mavericks were one of five teams Dwight Howard met with during his free agent tour, but for whatever reason, they were eliminated from contention fairly early in the process.

Now that Howard is with Houston, and Dallas has been forced to fill in its roster with many smaller pieces that may or may not help the team return to the playoffs, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the spin from the team’s owner Mark Cuban is going to be a positive one.

From ESPN Dallas:

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a spot where we’re in a better spot than we were at if we got just the one max-out deal,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com during the Mavs’ summer league game Wednesday night. “I think it’d be better shorter and longer term. I don’t want to make that sound the wrong way. I think we’ll be better this year because we added five good players or more.”

Cuban might be right about his team being better off in the shorter term without Howard and with the players the Mavericks were able to sign instead. But that logic only makes sense for one season.

Even with Howard in the fold and a healthy Dirk Nowitzki next year, no one would have Dallas near the top of their list of favorites to compete for the title. The sales pitch to Howard, and why it might’ve made sense to strongly consider Dallas as a destination, had to do with the future, beginning with the 2014 season.

Nowitzki’s current contract would be up by then, and he’s already gone on record saying he’ll take a substantial pay cut in his next deal in order to maximize his team’s chances of signing the talent necessary to return the Mavs to a championship-caliber squad. With Nowitzki and Howard in place, Dallas would immediately have become an attractive destination for the biggest names in free agency to consider.

Once Howard was out of the picture, Dallas signed Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis, and added Samuel Dalembert, as well. Those pieces might help the team more immediately than Howard would have given what the rest of the roster might have looked like, but it’s impossible to buy what Cuban is selling regarding his team being better off overall without Howard in place.

  1. chitownfinest - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    He said the same thing when they couldn’t get Deron Williams. Sounds like he never wants to land a big star

  2. blakegriffin32 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Of course he’s saying that. What’s he supposed to say? “Welp, I guess blowing up that 2011 championship team was a mistake…but hey we got Deron Willia–wait we didn’t? Well we got Dwight Howa–not him either? At least we got Josh Smi–no… @$!& we’re screwed.”

  3. aboogy123456 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    it sounds like he’s just trying to sell this to Nowitzki, who is definitely not happy that they waited two years so they could sign Calderon, Dalembert, and ellis.

  4. htownred34 - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Why did they pursue him then if their team is better off without him, well what else could he have said…

  5. dirtydavis - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    F**k it! I am not a mavs fan

  6. losangelesfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    With the disastrous CBA that is now in place, mega contracts like D-12′s will be a huge albatross for the teams paying. Houston will be hamstrung for the next few years. Howard ain’t worth it offensively.

    • aboogy123456 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      I think the CBA really hurts the mid level players in the league. Guys on Howard’s will always outperform their contracts, but when you max out the top players, it gives teams less flexibility to sign role players around them, and subsequently the role players get much less than they would have in previous years. Howard’s contract isn’t hurting the rockets, they are happy to have him. What hurts the rockets is guys like Jeremy lin getting $8.5 million.

  7. thekingdave - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Cognitive dissonance

  8. bucrightoff - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    You think he’d like to have the summer of 2011 back again?

  9. jetslakersfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    I wanted Howard to return to Lakers and had no problem with him when he went to Houston, but I lost all respect for him when he ask the Lakers to get rid of Kobe. How can a man that has no rings ask a team to get rid of a guy who bought them 5 rings?

  10. thomaskouns - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    They weren’t going anywhere anyway with 35 year old volume shooter Kobe and its not like Kobe’s never asked the front office to get rid of guys.

    Heck, you’re talking about the guy who got the Lakers make certain ‘wives’ rules for so his could be the Queen Bee.

    What comes around goes around.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      People complain about the number of Lakers-related stories on PBT, yet here we are, on an article about Mark Cuban and the Mavericks, that has no relation to the Lakers, talking about the Lakers. We should just amend Godwin’s Law to relate to the Lakers and you have every discussion on PBT ever.

  11. cflip376 - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Being in purgatory is a better spot?…

  12. skinsfanwill - Jul 18, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    He is actually right. Without these signings they would have had no point guard, no SG, and a lame for a Center that would be overpaid. this current team looks a lot better than last years team. At least they can score and somewhat defend. Vince is washed up but the Matrix is still good money. they will give teams problems, even though they won’t win a championship.

  13. sportsfan18 - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    I’ve not been a Mavs fan, but I liked Mark Cuban because he was a breath of fresh air. I would have loved to see him own a baseball team as those owners are far too stuffy.

    Cuban came in and was brash, like him or not. He shook things up.

    But, he was lucky to have Dirk on his team. Dirk was there when he bought the team. In all the years, they only won one title.

    Now, Dirk isn’t on the level of MJ, Magic, LeBron etc… but Dirk isn’t chump change.

    He’s currently 21st on the all time scoring list and with only a decent season, he’ll be in about 15th place after this season and if he has just another decent season the year after, he should pass Shaq for 8th place on the all time scoring list.

    Dirk is currently 19th on the all time NBA PER rankings. Kobe is currently 20th. Both of them should begin to see their PER rankings drop soon, if not beginning this coming season.

    Even so, a player like Dirk, who will most likely be in the top 10 all time in scoring and end up around the 25th best all time for Player Efficiency Ranking, getting only one title is a disappointment.

    Basically, Mark Cuban has wasted the last two seasons of Dirk’s career and he is going to waste this season too. We’ll see what happens in 14 and beyond, but Dirk is already 35 yrs old and will be older then. Players want to join up with younger stars (James Harden anyone? – think about it if James Harden had been 35 and Dirk was only 23 yrs old, I’m thinking Dwight might have made a different decision).

    In other words, I’m not holding my breath for the Mavs in 14, even with Dirk taking less money as he’ll be older yet and well the likes of Monta and Devon Harris won’t attract other high level free agents.

    Basically, Cuban has and will waste the last 4 to 5 yrs of Dirks career and to only get one championship out of a player of his caliber shows that the Mavs didn’t do enough during the years they had Dirk as an organization.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 21, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Great post.

  14. jetslakersfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Thomas

    The only reason Howard ask that is he don’t like to pushed and we both know u have to be pushed to win. Plus he wants the spot light handed to him and not earn it. Just so you know all the great players ask there teams to sign or get rid of people. When it all said and done you will hear Kobe name always come up as one of the all time great. U will never hear Howard name bought up. Kobe a winner and Dwight is a cry baby.

  15. florida727 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    What a clown. Then why’d you go make a pitch for him, Mark? Need the frequent flyer miles? Sometimes it’s just better to shut up and let people think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  16. larryallensjockstrap - Jul 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Cuban didn’t resign Chandler because he was 29yo and approaching the down side of his career and let the core unit of that team go. He then RE-signs a 67yo Kidd to a 2 year deal. He hyped and lied to his very loyal fan base about signing Paul and Howard. Cuban was in Cali filming that lame show Shark Tank while D.Will was in town to possible sign a contract. The Mavericks have a very good front office and scouting dept. but the owner has received all the credit.

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