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Cuban On Long-Term Deals, Nowitzki, Draft

Mark Cuban is talking about a two-year plan to revive the Mavericks, as we passed along last night. Tim McMahon of provides a transcript of Cuban's radio appearance Saturday on 103.3 FM's ESPN Dallas Game Day, one in which the Mavs owner dropped plenty of hints about his team's plan for this summer and beyond. The entire transcript is worth a read, especially for Mavs fans, but we'll highlight a few key comments.

On the value of the fifth year a team can offer its own star free agents:

"In terms of that fifth year, that really is overrated from the perspective that if he’s young enough, he’s going to get another contract or two. When you sit down with them and say that there might be the issue of this contract ends before we can opt out of this current CBA. That may sound silly since we just signed a new CBA two years ago, but the ability for the league to opt out after six years means a five-year contract signed now puts you (on the) other side of that CBA, which may not be a good thing. You may want to be in a position where you want to sign another long-term deal before the NBA has the option to opt out of this CBA. I’m not suggesting that anything is going to happen with this CBA, but it’s just something to consider. On the second side of that, you’re young enough to get another contract.

On Dirk Nowitzki's willingness to take a paycut next summer:  

"I’ll let Dirk decide that (amount of his pay cut). It’ll just depend on how strongly he feels about who we’re bringing (in). That dude has saved every nickel he’s ever had. He’s not worried about paying for his funeral. Dirk wants to win, and his heart is in the right place. He’s a great guy. We get along great and we can have very open and honest conversation and we don’t hold anything back. When it comes down to that time, we’ll have that conversation and figure it out.” 

On the team's plans with the 13th pick in this year's draft:

"If we like the person at 13, we’ll keep it and we’ll figure something out elsewhere to free up cap space to get there, but (trading the pick will) be an option for us. If our guy doesn’t get there, we’ll look at trading it. … If a guy falls, we’ll be happy to take him and figure out who to work the cap. If no one wants to make a trade for whatever reason, we can maybe get a guy to stash overseas somewhere. If we put him overseas and he doesn’t play, he won’t count against our cap. There are so many different options, and we’ll explore them all.”

On the team's pursuit of marquee free agents:

“We can go out there and get guys that are really good players that want to come here whose agents have suggested that they’d really love to come to Dallas. We can go put together a good team and see what we’ve got. If it doesn’t work, with Dirk and (Shawn) Marion coming off the books, with the stretch provision and contracts, we still have the opportunity to go after two max free agents (next summer) if we’re willing to take the hit on the stretch. I’m willing to do that." 

On how the stretch provision will factor into his approach to marquee free agents:

"It’s not like last year. We’re going to go after them. But it’s not like we’re not having all the intense conversations to figure out all of our alternatives. We can play it both ways. We can go and put together a better team by signing multiple guys to multiyear contracts. We won’t sign anybody to a one-year deal. They’ll all be four-year deals because that gives you the most flexibility if you stretch them. Just to explain some more, you can sign a guy to a four-year deal and only have $10 million guaranteed. If you cut him and want to stretch him, you take the guaranteed money only and divide it by the number of years, times two, plus one. So you can stretch that contract out over nine years, as long as you do a four-year deal. There’s a finite amount that you’re allowed to total and stretch, but that’s more of a financial issue more than anything else. 

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