Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson appeared on fishbowlnetworkradio.com on Monday, speaking about a number of topics related to his team's offseason. As Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star Telegram writes, Nelson says Deron Williams was the key to the Mavericks' summer — Nelson believes the Mavs would have re-signed Jason Terry and Jason Kidd if Williams had chosen Dallas. Those are interest comments, since Terry and Kidd both had huge cap holds on the Mavs' books. If Dallas hoped to re-sign both players at reasonable rates, the team couldn't have renounced its rights to either player, which means there would have been no cap room for Williams. Perhaps a sign-and-trade could have been worked out with the Nets if D-Will had chosen the Mavs.
In any case, Nelson also weighed in a few more issues, so let's round up the highlights….
- The Mavericks have two open roster spots, and rookie Bernard James is expected to take one of the two. Delonte West could re-sign and take the other spot, but that's no certainty, as Nelson points out: "There’s also an argument for keeping that last roster spot open, because sometimes you get lucky towards the end of the summer." The GM adds that the Mavs are still in negotiations with West and are hopeful that they'll work something out.
- Nelson feels like assistant coach Terry Stotts is a great head coach candidate, and says the team is prepared to lose him if the Trail Blazers decide to hire him.
- According to Nelson, Chris Kaman was at or near the top of the team's list of free agent targets after D-Will. The GM expects Dirk Nowitzki to benefit significantly from Kaman's presence.
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban also spoke to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com about the offseason and the new CBA, pointing out that he wants his team to avoid the luxury tax not necessary for financial reasons but because taxpaying teams will face significant restrictions on roster moves starting next summer.