Mark Cuban was once again on the radio, this time on KCTK-AM, to further explain the summer of intrigue for the Mavs. He spoke about the work he’s done in regards to flopping. That will be discussed later this week. The more pressing issues are geared towards free agency and the draft, both rapidly approaching.
Here is the Quoteboard with highlights of Cuban’s appearance on The Ticket in regards to free agency and the draft.
How do teams sign players as quickly as the signing period starts on July 1?
“Usually that’s their own free agents so they’ve already had that agreed to. Other than that, July 1 sounds like a big day. July 1 isn’t really the big day. July 1, you make the phone calls and maybe you have a meeting, but I don’t want to be the first guy. I want to be the last guy. The more meetings you have on July 1, unless they’re your own free agents, the less likely you are to sign them.
If you’re the last guy, the free agent might not get to you.
“They’ll get to you, because the agent wants to scare the original team and the player wants to know their options and they want to know how you approach things. There’s a lot of upside and no downside to having those meetings.”
On the two-year plan:
“If we’re going after the biggest names, it’s going to be a two-summer issue, starting with this summer.”
How do you feel about how you’ve set the team up to this point? Are you in a prime position right now?
“I don’t know if prime is the right word, but we’re in a lot better position than we would have been. If you look at other teams like the Knicks, the Celtics, the Nets, that’s exactly the position we didn’t want to be in. You can’t sit here and say, ‘we’re dialed in, we’ve got it all set and we know exactly what’s going to happen’ because there’s a lot of risks in all the different alternatives. At the same time, if we’re locked in and have no choice, that’s a far worse position to be in. We’re in a good position, and we’ve got a lot of good opportunities to take advantage of. I can’t lie and say this is a slam dunk. There’s only one direction for us to go and that’s to get better.”
On renouncing rights to your own guys and how that works when you’re going for free agents:
“You’re not going to renounce anybody until you have an agreement and then you renounce. Even if you renounce a guy, you can still sign them. It just doesn’t mean he’s restricted any longer.
“The other thing I tell fans is that there’s a lot of BS going out there about who has cap room to sign one guy, let alone two guys. We get to actually see the salaries. We know if such and such team says they’re going after two big free agents, they have to convince somebody to do a sign-and-trade so that puts them in the same boat as every team not over the tax threshold.”
What position are you in when it comes to being able to sign multiple big free agents?
“We’ve got enough room to sign one max-out guy. We have the opportunity to sign-and-trade for a second max-out guy like anybody else, but that’s much more difficult to accomplish.”
For that to happen, you need assets available to send out for that sign-and-trade.
“We do. It requires two sides to participate for a sign-and-trade. The player that’s part of the sign-and-trade has to participate and the team has got to participate and want the players you want to give up to take them back and that’s going to be very difficult in this market.
Is it the case that the draft pick you have this year is less than appealing?
“It is the case because the numbers are the numbers. If I’m going to talk about cap and CBA, I can’t BS my way around that. [The cap space for a pick] makes a huge difference on whether or not we have enough room to sign a max-out guy.
“There’s risk involved. If somebody falls that we think is going to be a superstar and nobody else does, we’ll make the pick. I don’t think that’s likely. On the flip side, if you look at those teams that are over the tax threshold, they can’t sign-and-trade for a free agent. They only have the mini-mid level to sign and for the first time this year, they get hit higher with a new tax level. There are a lot of issues involved with those teams.
“As a result, the one way that they can inexpensively add decent players is through the draft. There able to trade future draft picks and or current players to get current draft picks, so the value of 13 is considerable. We’ll look at taking future draft picks. We’ll look at moving down and getting multiple draft picks. We’ll look at trading for players that we think are good. There are a lot of opportunities and options that we have.”
If the value of pick 13 can have that influence on signing a big free agent now, are there any regrets to the rookies from last year being on board?
“They all add up. It’s not that big of a deal at that point because they have cap holds. You have to fill out a roster to have 12 cap holds at $490,000. However many guys we’re paying, including [Jae] Crowder, Jared [Cunningham] and etc, the remainder up to 12, we have to slot in $490,000 so the delta isn’t that big anyways.”
On the complicated nature of things now with salaries and etc.:
“You’re trying to anticipate what other teams are doing. It’s kind of playing out on how we thought we would play out. It doesn’t mean these free agents are going to come and sign with us or that the trades are just automatically. It just means that there are going to be some alternatives out there. Part of the sales pitch we’re making if we’re going to sign one of these max-out type guys is Dirk [Nowitzki] comes off the books next year and Shawn Marion comes off the books next year. All we have is Jared and Jae on the books next year so, in essence, it’s you and we have room for two max-out free agents.
“So, when I talk about a two-year plan, that’s the concept there. Part of our sales pitch is that we’re not going to try to fool you and say you, Dirk, Shawn and Vince and filler are a championship-caliber team. Maybe you get on a run, maybe we get the right guys and maybe we’re pretty good, but the reality is, you’re going to work with us and Dirk and pick out your team.”
How many guys are worthy of this actual pitch?
“Two or three guys, maybe.”
Isn’t it awkward to use Dirk in this pitch when he comes off the books next year?
“Dirk understands that. It’s not cold because Dirk’s been through this four times and it is part of the drill. It’s part of wanting to win. To say you get to help pick out your team to close out your career isn’t cold. It’s inclusive.”
On restricted free agency and how it takes time to wait for that to play out:
“I don’t know that there are any free agents that are requiring offer sheets that are on our radar right now [due to the time it takes to let it play out].”
On taking advantage of other teams that are affected by the cap and seeing that as a way to facilitate trades that help the Mavs:
“Yeah, because they’re stuck. It doesn’t make us stupid because they’re stuck. Some of them have decent players that we’d have an interest in. If they’re willing to get off those good players, great, we’ll talk. If not, not.”
What is your definition of a successful summer?
“If we get one of our big names, that would be successful and get us on a two-year plan. If we don’t get one of the two big names and we sign two or three guys that make us good this year and allow us to compete for the fifth or sixth playoff spot or better and still keeps our cap room for next year to sign, let’s just say we keep it under $18 million, $19 million across those three players and we get a lot better with those three players, and we still have cap room for two max-out guys, that would also be successful. We’ll improve significantly as a team, we’ll have a couple of guys to be part of the future foundation. We can bring Dirk, Vince [Carter] and [Marion] back with something that makes sense and also sign guys.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.