IRVING, Texas -- During his Game 4 news conference following the first-round sweep to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle raised some already curious eyebrows when he started talking about his time with the club in the past tense.
For a man without a contract, was he using calculated language? Was Carlisle planting the seeds for his departure?
Well, the coach with the new four-year contract as of Tuesday said he wasn't trying to send hints through his verb tense.
"I was reflecting just simply based on my first contract. There was nothing meant by it," Carlisle said after spending an hour on the airwaves with ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Galloway & Company. "One thing I’ve learned through all this is owners are special people and they’re all different, they all have a different way of operating their business. The way it all happened was fine."
And now comes the hard work in what promises to be an intriguing offseason. The Mavs are entering an unprecedented summer under Cuban. For the first time in his ownership, Dallas will have cap space and plans to be aggressive. Obviously, Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams tops the list when free agency starts on July 1.
Carlisle said next on his agenda is gathering his coaching staff and painstakingly combing through the 29 other rosters and studying every possible potential free agent and desirable players through trades, plus draft prospects with the Mavs set to pick 17th.
"I see us being very active in all three areas -- the draft, free agency and trades," Carlisle said. "And it’s going to be a long summer because we’re going to be involved in everything. And so it’s one of the reasons I’m excited because I think there are going to be some terrific opportunities out there. We’ve got to get the team younger, we’ve got to get the team better."
In other words, stay tuned.