The quiet comment came on the eve of the deadline. The crazy talk came the day after, with Cuban claiming that talks heated up for the Mavs in the hours before Thursday afternoon’s deadline.
The Mavs ended up only making a minor deal, sending Dahntay Jones to Atlanta for Anthony Morrow. At one point, however, Cuban says he thought the Mavs would be pulling the trigger on a blockbuster deal at the deadline.
“It was crazy,” Cuban said Friday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Ben and Skin Show.” “We thought we had a bunch of things done, literally a bunch of things done. We had teams get cold feet at the last minute. … Things that would have used cap room next year, would have had money next year, that were high-dollar guys, difference-maker guys.”
Cuban declined to discuss specifics, saying that he takes great pride if keeping trade discussions confidential.
Cuban’s comments are somewhat contradictory to those made by president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson after the deadline. Nelson indicated that it was the Mavs’ decision not to act on any trade proposals that would have required Dallas to sacrifice space under the salary cap this summer.
“Yes, we had some of those conversations,” Nelson said. “At the end of the day, we chose to keep our flexibility.”
Cuban and Nelson were on the same page when it came to the possibility of the Mavs being sellers in this season’s trade market. They both made it clear that there was no temptation to trade quality veterans such as Vince Carter or Shawn Marion.
“We weren’t willing to be a seller,” Cuban said. “We could have been, but I wasn’t willing to be a seller. Because I wasn’t willing to give up and there wasn’t anything (of value) that we were going to get back.”
The Mavs are committed to making a push for the playoffs despite their slim odds. Dallas remains 4 ½ games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets despite going 10-6 since Jan. 10.
“It’s important for us again to not jolt this team with major change because we are in a playoff push and we are starting to play pretty darn good basketball,” Nelson said. “So we didn’t really want to mess around with the core. That was pretty evident from the outset. We feel that we accomplished that and addressed an area of need.
“We think that with Big Blondie (Dirk Nowitzki) back, we’re playing pretty good basketball. Let’s give it what for and see what happens.”