While it's no secret that Chris Paul and Dwight Howard are the Mavericks' top two targets this summer, there's been plenty of speculation suggesting that perhaps players like Brandon Jennings or Nikola Pekovic could be among the team's alternate targets. However, according to owner Mark Cuban, appearing on KTCK-AM in Dallas, the Mavs aren't currently eyeing any restricted free agents.
"I don’t know if there are any free agents that are requiring offer sheets that are on our radar right now," Cuban said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. MacMahon adds that Cuban suggested the three-day waiting period when the player's previous team has a chance to match an offer sheet could compromise the Mavs' leverage and flexibility.
In addition to Jennings and Pekovic, Jeff Teague, Tyreke Evans, Tiago Splitter, and Gerald Henderson figure to be among the top restricted free agents on the market. However, it sounds as if the Mavs will instead turn their attention to unrestricted free agents and trade candidates. According to Cuban, his pitch to free agents will focus on the player's ability to assume a sort of assistant GM role (link via MacMahon).
"In essence, you get to come in and, it’s you and we have room for two more max free agents [next year]," Cuban said. "That’s why when I talked about a two-year plan, that’s the concept there…. So part of our sales pitch is, look, we’re not going to try to fool you and say that you and Dirk [Nowitzki] and Shawn Marion and Vince [Carter] and [filler] are basically a championship team. Maybe we get on a run, maybe we’re pretty good. But the reality is you’re going to work with us and Dirk to get out there and pick your team."
Nowitzki has spoken in recent weeks about signing a more cap-friendly deal when his current contract expires next summer. With his $22.72MM cap hit set to come off the books in 2014 and a stronger free agent crop likely to hit the open market, the Mavs should certainly be in a position to make another splash a year from now even if they can't land Paul or Howard this summer.