DALLAS — Why did it make sense to trade for Tyson Chandler now if it didn’t make sense to re-sign the big man who played such a huge role in the Mavericks’ championship run?
“Is Mark coming up here next?” coach Rick Carlisle cracked when asked that question on draft night, about 24 hours after the six-player deal with the New York Knicks was done.
No, Mark Cuban didn’t meet the media Thursday night. However, during his Saturday appearance on 103.3 FM’s “ESPN Dallas Game Day,” Cuban did offer a lengthy explanation for why he believes the Mavs are better off having let Chandler leave in free agency in December 2011 and trading to bring him back for the final season of his four-year, $60 million contract.
“First of all, you know I don’t make mistakes,” Cuban said, chuckling. “When you think I’ve made one, see Rule 1 because you know I won’t admit it.
“Again, people don’t want to hear me talking about the rules and the new CBA, but there were only so many courses of action that we could take. If we re-signed anybody to a $10 million-plus amount, then we basically had to re-sign everybody, and we just didn’t feel re-signing everybody would put us in a position to succeed. We realized we were taking on a risk-reward where we were going after free agents. … Particularly last year, we didn’t get what we were trying to get with Dwight [Howard], but we thought that the risk-reward really made sense.
“We also felt, as nice as it sounds and exciting as it might have seemed if we kept the team together after we won the championship, I mean, if you just look where everybody is at right now, I think you kind of look back and say maybe it was the right move. So taking that approach now, let us get to the point now where we can bring back Tyson and we’re in a good position to re-sign him next year as well and we have cap room in addition to Tyson and we’ve been able to add Monta [Ellis] and we’ve been able to add Vince [Carter]. …
“We think we’re in a better position now than if we’d have just kept everybody together, and so I think that flexibility, the ability to add someone this summer if we can make that happen, along with bringing Ty back when we hope he’s in good shape — and everything looks like he’s in good shape — that also gives us a little bit of risk reduction and more upside than if we’d have just kept everything together.”