Dallas Mavericks: Dan Fegan

A conspiracy theory: The Rockets emerged as a rumored frontrunner to throw folks off the scent that Dwight Howard has been ticketed for Dallas all along.

Those are whispers that ESPN Los Angeles’ Ramona Shelburne has heard on the West coast.

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

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The implication: A wink-wink, nudge-nudge deal has long been in place between Mark Cuban and his pal Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent. I love a good conspiracy theory, but it’s too easy to shoot holes in this one.

Start with the Shawn Marion situation. If this was a done deal, wouldn’t Fegan have convinced his client on the Mavs’ roster to cooperate and make things much easier for everyone?

The best-case scenario for the Mavs would have been Marion exercising the early termination option in his contract and then returning to Dallas on a three-year deal with a salary reduced enough to squeeze Howard’s max deal under the cap. Technically, the Mavs couldn’t have negotiated Marion’s new contract before he opted out, but we’re talking wink-wink, nudge-nudge deals here.

How can the Mavs create enough cap space to sign Howard now? Dumping Marion’s salary in a trade is the most likely scenario. If this was all a pre-arranged deal, would Fegan put another veteran client in danger of being shipped to an undesirable team? (Yes, Marion would pocket an extra $1.4 million with his trade kicker, but if this was all just a money grab for Fegan, he’d be determined to get Howard to stay in L.A. instead of bolting to Dallas.)

It’s true that Cuban and Fegan have a strong business relationship, even a friendship, and have worked together to get several deals done. Hey, maybe Fegan really does feel like he owes Cuban for that Erick Dampier contract!

But, if Marion gets dealt this summer, add that to the list of business decisions made by Cuban that disappointed Fegan clients.

*The Mavs shipped Fegan client Drew Gooden to Washington in the deal that got rid of Josh Howard and brought Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas.

*Jason Terry fired Fegan in part because of frustration stemming from the Mavs’ lack of interest in making a long-term commitment to him during his last year in Dallas.

*The Mavs waived Delonte West, a Fegan client at the time, after twice suspending him for conduct detrimental to the team last fall.

It helps for an owner and agent to have a good relationship, but it guarantees nothing for either side.

Cuban: Mavs not discussing dealing Marion

June, 19, 2013
Mark Cuban has been open about the Mavericks aggressively exploring opportunities to trade the No. 13 overall pick.

Cuban is adamant, however, that the rumors about the Mavs being willing to part with the pick for minimal return if a team takes Shawn Marion’s $9.32 million salary off their hands are inaccurate. Cuban insists that the Mavs have not had any talks with teams about trading Marion.

The Spurs had a championship in their hands, but melted down late in Game 6. Fitzsimmons & Durrett flash back to one of the most gut-wrenching moments in DFW sports history, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, and compare it to San Antonio's meltdown.

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“Not a single discussion,” Cuban said via email to ESPNDallas.com.

At the moment, the Mavs have $41.81 million worth of commitments and cap holds that would count against next season’s cap, which is expected to be set at $58.5 million. That number could increase by six figures if they opt to keep Brandan Wright’s Early Bird rights and/or the nonguaranteed contracts of Bernard James and Josh Akognon.

The Mavs need to make some cuts to have enough cap space to offer Dwight Howard a max contract, which would have a first-year salary of $20.51 million. That’s why they are shopping the lottery pick that comes with a cap hold of $1.66 million.

Trading Marion into another team’s cap space would create enough wiggle room for the Mavs to sign a max player (Howard or Chris Paul) and likely another starter. However, Cuban has repeatedly referenced the 35-year-old Marion’s value to the Mavs and expressed interest in re-signing the only player other than Dirk Nowitzki who remains on the roster from the 2011 title team.

Something else worth considering with the Marion rumors: The Mavs probably wouldn’t do themselves any favors in their pursuit of Howard if they dealt Marion to a team he considers undesirable. Agent Dan Fegan represents both Howard and Marion.
J.J. Barea, an unrestricted free agent coming off a breakout season, has made it crystal clear that he hopes to stay in Dallas.

His agent wholeheartedly agrees.

"Of course he’d like to stay in Dallas," agent Dan Fegan said in an interview with hoopshype.com. "It was a magical season, he has an outstanding relationship with the organization and we’re gonna work hard to see that he has that opportunity."

While Barea might get offered more minutes and more money elsewhere, it's becoming increasingly difficult to envision a scenario in which he doesn't remain a member of the Mavericks.

The interest is obviously mutual. As Donnie Nelson often says, these types of situations tend to work themselves out.

That's especially true when the agent has a history of working well with the franchise is determined to make a deal.

Dwight Howard to Dallas?!?!

May, 11, 2011
The Mavericks’ top offseason priority will be re-signing Tyson Chandler, the best big man in franchise history.

Unless they can land the best big man in the NBA.

That’s a topic of conversation today because of the bombshell dropped by ESPN’s Ric Bucher on SportsCenter. He reported that Dwight Howard’s short list of teams he’d want to be traded to includes the Nets, Knicks, Lakers … and the Mavericks.

All due respect to Chandler – and that is a ton, considering the massive tangible and intangible contributions he’s made to a title contender – but it’d be an absolute no-brainer for the Mavs to acquire a 26-year-old perennial All-NBA center if possible. Consider that an extremely slim chance, especially considering that the value of the Mavs’ best young trade chip (Rodrigue Beaubois) isn’t exactly soaring.

However, as noted by the boys on ESPN 103.3’s Ben and Skin Show, the fact that Howard is represented by Dan Fegan gives Dallas hope to get a deal done. The Mavs have an outstanding working relationship with Fegan, who also represents Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Erick Dampier among others.

Just something to keep in mind once the lockout is lifted.

Now, back to the Chandler and the Mavs trying to win their first championship …



Dirk Nowitzki
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9