Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban

Carlisle: Jameer Nelson a 'natural leader'

September, 30, 2014
Sep 30
2:38
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Jameer NelsonFernando Medina/NBAE via Getty ImagesPoint guard Jameer Nelson has career averages of 12.6 points and 5.4 assists per game.
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks haven’t officially named a starting point guard, but Jameer Nelson wearing white during the first practice of training camp provides a pretty good hint at the direction they’re leaning.

As do coach Rick Carlisle’s comments about the intangible qualities that Nelson brings to Dallas after a decade in Orlando.

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Carlisle sounds a lot like he did when he discussed Tyson Chandler when the big man first joined the Mavs four years ago. When camp opened, it wasn’t clear whether Chandler or Brendan Haywood would start at center, but it didn’t take long before Carlisle started referring to Chandler as a critical element of the team’s soul.

That’s the kind of presence the Mavs anticipate for Nelson, who is rejuvenated after spending the last two seasons as the veteran leader of a rebuilding franchise.

“He’s just got a grit and toughness about him that we really need on this team this year,” said Carlisle, who calls Nelson a "natural leader" whose style commands instant respect. “His game is going to help us, but his personality is going to help us, too.”

Owner Mark Cuban mentioned that the Mavs targeted Nelson, who has career averages of 12.6 points and 5.4 assists per game, with their cap-room exception as much for his leadership ability as his production.

(Read full post)

Smiling Mark Cuban: 'I am a bully'

September, 29, 2014
Sep 29
3:04
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DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, the faces of a rather fierce front-office rivalry between the two franchises, can agree on one thing.

“I am a bully,” Cuban said, smiling. “I just can’t help myself.”

Morey has had just about enough of Cuban’s public jabs, firing back in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. Cuban found many of Morey’s comments to be humorous, particularly the part about “directing his bully pulpit onto us” because the San Antonio Spurs aren’t an easy target.

Of course, Cuban has long been a villain in San Antonio, angering the entire city with by criticizing the uncleanliness of the River Walk during a playoff series several years ago.

“See, that’s Daryl, right?” Cuban said. “He doesn’t really have a concept of what’s really happened in life. I mean, anybody who’s walked by the river ... Let’s put it this way: I don’t go close to the river for fear I’ll be pushed in.”

This is the first time that Morey has publicly fired back directly at Cuban, who has been taking jabs at the Rockets for more than a year, dating to center Dwight Howard’s decision to go to Houston instead of Dallas in free agency. Cuban claims that Morey “kind of got it started” when he sent a text inquiring about Dirk Nowitzki’s availability in a trade after Howard’s decision, which Cuban took as a taunt. Cuban also didn’t appreciate Morey’s statement after Chandler Parsons’ departure to Dallas this summer that the Rockets would prefer to develop players of that caliber than sign them to rich contracts.

“I don’t know who (the Rockets) have developed that’s on his roster right now,” Cuban said. “If you throw the punches ... I just don’t think he realized he threw them, so I had some fun responding.”

(Read full post)

Chandler Parsons: I'm dialed in on defense

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
1:49
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Chandler Parsons and Shawn MarionGetty ImagesThe Mavs hope to use Chandler Parsons in a similar fashion to Shawn Marion in past seasons.
DALLAS -- Chandler Parsons did not arrive in Dallas with a reputation for being a good defender. He expects that to change.

“We’ve got a great staff that really emphasizes defense,” Parsons said. “Where I'm coming from, offense was always our main goal. Now we’ve got to win games and championships on the defensive side. I'm totally locked in and dialed in to do that.”

In comparison to former teammate James Harden, Parsons was a lockdown defender with the Houston Rockets. However, in comparison to the rest of the league, Parsons was pretty mediocre on that end of the floor.

According to Synergy Sports, Parsons ranked 190th as an overall defender last season, allowing 0.88 points per possession. He ranked 219th in isolation (0.93) and 204th in post-up situations (0.94). Parsons was well above average guarding pick-and-roll ballhandlers, ranking 70th and allowing 0.74 points per possession.

With the Dallas Mavericks, Parsons has large shoes to fill on defense. Many shoes, for that matter. Shawn Marion, aka “The Matrix,” was the Mavs’ best defender for the last five seasons and guarded everyone from point guards to power forwards.

The Mavs hope to use the 6-foot-9 Parsons in a similar fashion, which would give coach Rick Carlisle tremendous flexibility to experiment with different lineups.

(Read full post)

Cuban: Mavs too deep for 20-point scorers

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
8:16
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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki's scoring average dipped under 20 points per game once in the last 14 seasons, and that was when he underwent knee surgery in October, missed two months and ended up looking like a mountain man as the Dallas Mavericks chased a .500 record.

His boss anticipates that the dozen-time All-Star’s scoring numbers dip again this season, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“I’m not expecting anyone on our team to be a 20-point scorer,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. “Not Dirk. I don’t want him to be a 20-point scorer. Seriously.

Monta [Ellis] has that capability, Chandler [Parsons] has that capability, Dirk has that capability, Richard Jefferson’s got that capability. Jameer [Nelson] could do 15, Raymond Felton could do 15 if that was the focus. But that’s not our focus. That’s the cool thing. There’s going to be times that we overpass. I think that’ll be one of the challenges that [coach] Rick [Carlisle] has, that some of the guys are too unselfish.”

(Follow-up question I failed to ask: Do the Mavs have a time machine for Richard Jefferson or something?)

All jokes aside, Cuban’s point is on point. The Mavs should be one of the league’s elite offensive teams again -- they tied for second in offensive efficiency last season -- because of their skill and depth. But ball movement and chemistry will be the keys to the Mavs fulfilling their massive offensive potential.

That’s one reason it’s been so encouraging to see pretty much the entire team working out and playing pickup games together at the American Airlines for the last few weeks.

“We think this team can be special,” Carlisle said, adding that he’s never seen this level of activity and energy in the building at this point of the year.

Cuban, in what could be considered a subtle jab at the rival Houston Rockets’ front office, made a point to say that the Mavs value chemistry as much as math. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the Mavs accumulated a lot of talent that looks good on a computer screen when studying analytics if the players and personalities don’t mesh.

That’s why Nowitzki’s leadership is arguably as important as the sweetest-shooting 7-footer in NBA history’s jumper. He sets a tone of unselfishness that guys like Ellis, who arrived in Dallas with a reputation for being a me-first gunner, follow. The expectation is for Parsons to fall in line, understanding that he was given a three-year, $46 million contract to play a key role on a winning team, not worry about putting up pretty numbers.

“I mean, if he averaged 10, 8 and 8, I’d be thrilled to death,” Cuban said. “I don’t care how much he scores. I care how well we do, and I think he’s the same way. I think he’d love to take credit for being a guy that can score 20 when you need to but can grab eight rebounds and dish out eight assists when needed to as well.”

Maybe the Mavs won’t have anyone who puts up All-Star numbers. Their hope is to be a contender whose sum is greater than the whole of its parts.

Cuban admits mistake on Chandler? Kind of

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
4:12
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DALLAS – The first question a fan asked at the press conference/pep rally held Tuesday by the Dallas Mavericks was directed to Tyson Chandler, but Mark Cuban provided the answer.

“Let’s just say I learn from my mistakes,” Cuban said, replying to an inquiry about whether the big man’s second stay in Dallas would last longer than one season.

Cuban’s choice to allow Chandler to leave in free agency after the Mavs’ lone championship season will always be one of the most controversial decisions in Dallas sports history.

As Cuban explained at the time and over and over again, he declined to make a multi-year offer to Chandler after the lockout because he believed the new collective bargaining agreement put a premium on financial flexibility.

The fear was that the Mavs wouldn’t be able to make upgrades as an aging roster deteriorated if they kept the title team together. The hope was the Mavs could use their ample salary-cap space to sign a superstar.

Well, Father Time did catch up with most of the key cogs from that title team, with many of the Mavs’ champions either retired or playing much lesser roles for other teams. But the Mavs’ front office never did hook the perennial All-Star big fish in free agency.

The Mavs have made some significant upgrades in the last two summers, including getting Chandler back in a six-player deal with the New York Knicks, just in time for the final season of his four-year, $56 million deal.

So it was a mistake to let him go in the first place, huh?

“Obviously it would have been better if we could have kept him, right?” Cuban said after leaving the stage. “But our hand was dealt with all the changes. All’s well that ends well. I think it turned out just the way we wanted, just the way I planned.”

The Mavs probably planned to mix in a playoff series win or two during Chandler’s time in New York, but no need to nitpick.

One thing that’s unquestionably true is that Chandler and the Mavs are mutually elated to be together again.

Will the best big man in Mavs history actually stick around for more than one season in his second Dallas stint? That’s a question that won’t be answered until next summer, when Chandler’s contract coming off the books gives the Mavs the flexibility to be aggressive in free agency again.

“I’ll leave that up to them again,” Chandler said. “That was out of my control. It’s going to be out of my control this time around. The only thing I can do is produce on the floor.”

It'll be Cuban's call. It's safe to assume he knows how the Mavs' fan base feels.
DALLAS -- The city’s skyline will be featured across the chest on the Dallas Mavericks’ 2015-16 alternate jerseys, which were revealed at a Tuesday news conference.


The jerseys, designed by Mavs fan Geoff Case, were selected from more than 1,000 entries in a contest. Case, who left the digital marketing field to open the design company 1 Man Agency a month ago, received $1,000 and season tickets for next season.

Case envisions Mavs players celebrating big plays by popping out the chest of the jersey, displaying the skyline.

“The functional aspect of the design is it gives players the ultimate way to rep the city,” Case said.

Case’s design has the Reunion Tower ball, the most recognizable part of the Dallas skyline, featured prominently. However, the ball was not on the jersey shown during the news conference, a mistake Mavs owner Mark Cuban said would be corrected.

“That’ll change,” Cuban said. “The first generation, we had to rush them out, so it’s going to get them refined and we have to do all the stuff with Adidas.”

The alternate jerseys will be worn at least eight times during the 2015-16 season.
New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer drew comparisons to Mark Cuban with his high-fiving, chest-bumping, shouting introduction to the franchise’s fan base last week.

The scene came as no surprise to the Dallas Mavericks owner, whose enthusiastic exhibitions had been unique among the NBA’s owners.

“I’ve known Steve for a long time, going back into my twenties, and he’s always been this way,” Cuban said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” last week. “So this isn’t Steve Ballmer getting hyped just for the Clippers. This is just the way he is. He’s going to be great for the league.

“You know, in reality, I already know, knowing him, he’s going to be a lot calmer than I am. He’s great hyping people up in a sales environment, but it’ll be interesting to see him during a game. I hope he’s crazy, but I’m not expecting it.”

Ballmer, who paid $2 billion to buy the Clippers from disgraced former owner Donald Sterling, has been welcomed into the NBA ownership fraternity. That wasn’t the case when Cuban brought the Mavs in 2000 and showed up to games acting like a maniac in T-shirts and jeans.

“I just wish he would have been around to give those speeches when I first came in, seen the response by all the old-timers when I came in,” Cuban said. “When we were in Reunion Arena, I used to run up and down the aisles trying to exhort people to cheer and to stand up. I mean literally, I was running up and down the aisles I was so pumped up and so excited.

“I remember going into a board of governors meeting and one of the old-school guys -- I won’t name him; he’s since passed away -- said, ‘You haven’t done shinola in this league. You need to sit the eff down and shut the eff up. I never want to see you or hear from you again.' And David Stern literally had to tell him to calm down. Then he said something else, and I said, ‘Well, such and such ...’ and [Mavs CEO/president Terdema Ussery] taps me on the shoulder and said, ‘You just got his name wrong.’ It would have been interesting to see what it’s like just to have Steve’s energy.”

Why Mavs couldn't keep Marion for minimum

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
10:43
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Shawn MarionKevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsIf Shawn Marion was going to take the minimum, Cleveland was the best possible fit for him.
The Dallas Mavericks would have been thrilled to re-sign Shawn Marion for the veteran’s minimum.

That’s what Marion got to join LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

So why didn’t Dallas keep Marion for the minimum? Because that was never an option for the Mavs.

“It’s different when you’re going back to your same team as supposed to going to a new team,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said on ESPN 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” on Thursday. “I think there’s a different dynamic and different expectation.

“I have a great relationship with Shawn. We’ve kept in touch. We messaged yesterday. He just thought that he wanted to go to somebody that he thought, and this was all prior to signing Chandler [Parsons] and everything, that he thought was closer to a ring particularly in the Eastern Conference. He decided to go that route and we wish him nothing but the best. Trix is a champion in our eyes and always will be.”

Marion, a consummate professional during his five seasons in Dallas and a critical piece of the Mavs’ 2011 title team, said at the end of last season that his preference was to re-sign with the franchise. Asked what it would take for the Mavs to keep him, Marion said, “Not much.”

(Read full post)

Chandler Parsons doesn't play in USA win

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
9:55
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[+] EnlargeChandler Parsons
David Dow/NBAE/Getty ImagesChandler Parsons not playing Wednesday had to make Mark Cuban happy.
If Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watched Team USA dominate the Dominican Republic in Wednesday's exhibition, he probably liked what he saw.

Or more like what he didn't see.

Chandler Parsons, the Mavs' new $46 million investment, did not play a minute in the rout. Kyle Korver and Mason Plumlee were the only other available Team USA players who didn't enter the game, with Derrick Rose sitting out due to soreness in his surgically repaired knee.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski will soon cut Team USA from 16 to 12 players.

It'd be fine with Cuban, who has repeatedly made it clear over the years that he doesn't like NBA players participating in international competition, if Parsons doesn't make the cut.

Cuban: Mavs not trying to trade Felton

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
2:40
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The planned signing of point guard Jameer Nelson is not a sign that the Mavs will try to push Raymond Felton out the door.

That comes straight from owner Mark Cuban, who offered an emphatic “no” when asked whether the Mavs would look to move Felton, who was acquired along with center Tyson Chandler in last month’s six-player trade with the New York Knicks.

“We like him and think he will have a great year,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com via the Cyber Dust messaging app. “Do quote me on that.”

The Mavs envision Nelson, Felton and Devin Harris all getting significant playing time at point guard and some minutes at shooting guard behind Monta Ellis, as well.

Nobody, least of all Felton, denies that the nine-year veteran point guard is coming off a dreadful season in New York. Felton averaged a career-low 9.7 points and a near-career-low 5.6 assists for a disappointing Knicks team that failed to make the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.

Felton, who has averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 assists during his career, dealt with injury issues (a groin strain) and off-court problems (a divorce and arrest on gun charges) last season. He’s healthy now and hungry to prove himself again.

“Just to show everybody that I’ve still got it, I still can play,” Felton said on a recent conference call with Dallas reporters. “I still can play the game at this level. I still play as an elite point guard at this level. That’s just all.

“When you come off a season like I had last year, there’s always a point where you’ve got to prove yourself coming back the next season. And trust me, I look forward to it.”

So do the Mavs, Cuban insists.

Cuban: Mavs might save $2.7M exception

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:37
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DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks are in discussions with a couple of candidates for their $2.7 million cap-room exception, but owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the team isn’t desperate to fill that slot this summer.

“We’re talking to a couple of players, but it’s one of those things that if we don’t get the right player, we’ll just hold it so that during the season when a player gets cut, we’ll have that opportunity to offer,” Cuban said during a Tuesday appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “Fitzsimmons and Friedo.”

There has been mutual interest between the Mavs and guard Mo Williams throughout the free-agency period. However, Williams has offers for more than the $2.7 million salary the Mavs can offer, sources said.

A source also told ESPNDallas.com recently that Williams wasn’t the Mavs’ top target for their $2.7 million exception, declining to elaborate on the player who is a higher priority. (Jameer Nelson?)

If the Mavs opt not to use the exception this summer, they’d be positioned to outbid many teams for veteran players who receive midseason buyouts. That is how the Mavs acquired swingman Corey Brewer during the 2011 title season.

Contending in Dallas priceless to Dirk

July, 15, 2014
Jul 15
4:02
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What would another championship with the Dallas Mavericks be worth to Dirk Nowitzki?

The answer is probably priceless.

[+] EnlargeMark Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsTrue loyalty: Dirk Nowitzki desperately wants to win another title, but departing Dallas to do it was never an option he considered.
If you want to go with an actual dollar figure, start somewhere in the $50 million range. Nowitzki left at least that much money on the table by taking a three-year, $25 million deal to return to the Mavs instead of listening to pitches from teams interested in paying him around the max, as ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported.

This wasn’t just about Dirk’s desire to win. If that’s all that mattered, he’d be headed to Houston. The Rockets would have loved nothing more than to put the sweetest-shooting 7-footer in NBA history on the floor with shooting guard James Harden and center Dwight Howard. The Rockets would have kept Chandler Parsons in that case and featured the best starting five in the NBA.

Nowitzki, however, is too loyal to consider leaving the only NBA home he’s ever known. He desperately wants to contend for another championship, but departing Dallas to do it was never an option he considered.

Maybe it’d be different if there hadn't been a championship parade in downtown Dallas a few summers ago. If Nowitzki still didn’t own a championship ring, the thought of a Karl Malone-like, late-career jump to a contender would surely have been tempting.

But, with a Finals MVP trophy on his mantel, Nowitzki can comfortably continue his longtime plan to be a one-team man.

The choice Nowitzki made more than a year ago, when he publicly committed to taking a Tim Duncan-like discount to stay in Dallas when his contract expired this summer, was to sacrifice a small fortune to maximize the Mavs’ chances of contending for a championship during his golden years.

It’s not like Mark Cuban had a tough time negotiating with Nowitzki, who has never had an agent. At this point in his career, Nowitzki is essentially an assistant general manager, so it was just a matter of figuring out how massive his pay cut needed to be to allow the Mavs to fill their needs.

This is an unprecedented hometown discount, coming in at $5 million less than Duncan’s deal over the course of his contract. Nowitzki, who took $16 million under max on his previous contract, gave the Mavs enough salary cap wiggle room to overpay Parsons and re-sign Devin Harris after Dallas traded for Tyson Chandler.

The Dirk discount also guarantees that the Mavs will be major players in next summer’s free agency shopping as well. It also might plant seeds of sacrifice in the mind of Monta Ellis, who can opt out of his three-year, $25 million contract next summer or wait a year to be paid market value by the Mavs.

Clearly, Nowitzki is never going to have to plead poverty after making more than $200 million during his career, but he’s gone above and beyond with his loyalty and generosity to Dallas. That is true as the face of the franchise and a community man, as anyone who saw him grant every autograph request long after the lights were out at his sold-out charity baseball game last month can attest.

Nowitzki has two goals for the rest of his career: Retire as a Maverick and win another championship, in that order of importance. The money doesn’t matter that much.

Mavs strike with aggression this summer

July, 15, 2014
Jul 15
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LAS VEGAS -- After pushing the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs to a Game 7 in the first round, the Dallas Mavericks will return with a much different roster next season.

The Mavs have acquired center Tyson Chandler, small forward Chandler Parsons, point guard Raymond Felton, a young big man in Greg Smith and a veteran perimeter forward in Richard Jefferson. They have been incredibly aggressive this summer. As always, they've tried to stay opportunistic in the market, whether it be by trade or the free-agent market. To this point, they've done well.

[+] EnlargeRichard Jefferson
Brad Rempel/USA TODAY SportsRichard Jefferson will join his sixth team, having played for the New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Golden State and Utah in his 13-year career.
"Ideal would have been Carmelo and LeBron coming for the minimum, but that didn't happen," Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN Dallas on Monday.

You can't fault Nelson for being ambitious or for his wit. The Mavs ultimately got the man they wanted in Parsons. It was a move that was priority No. 1 for Dallas.

"We targeted Parsons from a very early stage. We feel he can play 4, 3. He can shoot the long ball, he can get the ball into the gut and make passes," Nelson said. "He's also a team guy and he knows what to do without the ball. He can grab it off the glass and push the ball. He knows what to do without the ball and doesn't need the ball to be effective.

"Where do you stop? He's kind of a perfect, tailored guy for the Mavericks."

Looking around the league, a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to come out smelling like roses in regard to their summer spending. That said, you can't discount what Dallas has done as they've made big moves. Continuity was a big buzzword for the Mavs going into the offseason. Continuity is nice, but getting better talent is, well, better.

"We're doing well. We're changing the team, we're getting it better and improving," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN Dallas. "Those are all things that are exciting. We've got more spaces to fill and we've got more good prospects. We're going to keep pushing forward."

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The three members of the Mavs' brain trust -- Mark Cuban, Nelson and Carlisle -- likely will go on their own separate paths for the remainder of the week. While that might be the case, all three have been hovering around the gyms this weekend, watching the summer league team playing and spitballing ideas. Whenever visible, the three of them would have conversations with one another in corners of the arena, formulating ideas to finish out their roster.

Their last major asset left in terms of money is their $2.7 million exception. While they could go different ways with the money, one focus is on their mind.

"I think we're looking for the best player," Nelson said. "As long as we can get that, we're happy. There's lot of backup roles that are needed. We can go in a variety of different directions, from point guard to center. I think we're going to try to get the best possible player we can."

Whoever the final pieces to the puzzle are, they will put a nice shiny bow on a successful offseason. The challenge will then become trying to become successful in terms of regular season and hopefully playoff games.

Monta Ellis likens Parsons to Marion

July, 14, 2014
Jul 14
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Chandler ParsonsTroy Taormina/USA TODAY SportsMonta Ellis says that Chandler Parsons reminds him of Shawn Marion because of his versatility.
LAS VEGAS -- Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis had a huge impact in his first year with the Mavericks last season. Now, more help is on the way in Chandler Parsons. With Parsons and the Mavs' other moves this summer, Ellis is pleased with what Dallas' front office has done.

“I think it’s a great addition to the team,” Ellis told 105.3 The Fan on Monday. “I think we did a wonderful job on getting the right group of guys and the right team to try to get farther than we did last year. Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, and then getting [Chandler] Parsons was an A-plus for us.

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"I'm looking forward to the season. He's a great player, and I think he's going to be a great asset to the team.”

Ellis said that he didn't stay too wrapped up in the timelines and countdowns with Parsons over the weekend, but he did exchange texts with Mark Cuban to stay in the loop.

In the end, he wanted to let Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson "do their job." While the front office wasn't able to get the big fish they've been trying to get over the last three seasons, the acquisition of Parsons is one of the final touches to the massive remodel the Mavs made this summer.

While the return of Chandler represents a true anchor in the middle for the Mavs, Parsons is an infusion of youth and versatility that could have a huge impact on their roster for the upcoming season and beyond. Ellis has seen Parsons as an opponent and views him as the real deal.

So who does Parsons remind Ellis of?

"Shawn Marion, but younger," Ellis said in regards to Parsons' versatility.

(Read full post)

Cuban talks LeBron, free-agent options

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
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LAS VEGAS -- LeBron James' decision to go back home to the Cleveland Cavaliers sent shock waves around the league. The city of Cleveland is certainly happy. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he thought James' decision was a positive one.

"I think it's great for the league," Cuban said as he was watching the Mavs' summer league team play. "As someone who grew up in Pittsburgh, it's great to see the old-school cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, we're usually the brunt of the jokes and people talk about leaving.

[+] EnlargeLeBron James
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsLeBron James' decision to return home to Cleveland resonated with Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who is from Pittsburgh.
"It's always good when I go back to Pittsburgh and it's just that type city. It's a Pittsburgh city and Cleveland is very similar. It's great for the area and the city."

James took a massive public-relations hit in 2010 for his one-hour televised special announcing he would join the Miami Heat. Cuban says he believes that time has done wonders for James and his approach to his latest decision.

"It's obvious that LeBron has grown up quite a bit since 'The Decision,'" Cuban said. "How he handled it, his words, his approach were night and day. I think he deserves a lot of respect."

Here are other highlights from Cuban's chat:

Still in doubt
The clock continues to tick as the Houston Rockets have to decide if they're going to match the Mavs' offer for restricted free agent Chandler Parsons. The Rockets have until 10:59 p.m. CT Sunday to decide whether to exercise their right to match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet Parsons signed with the Mavs.

"No," Cuban replied when asked if he had any inkling what Houston would do. "It's just a waiting game. I know what I would do. I don't expect them to do anything different."

Cuban wouldn't divulge what he would do in the situation.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9