Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants to keep his newfound starting five together for the foreseeable future, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas. To do so, Cuban will have to strike new deals with free agents to be Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler this summer. Add Monta Ellis to that list should he opt out of the third year of his team-friendly deal. “I’ll at least do my best to keep them together,” said Cuban. “I want to keep them together. It’s cheaper to keep them. It’s not where we were before. Do I want to go deep into the luxury tax? No, and I think it’s more because I want us to have some options in a couple of years. But, yeah, there’s no reason for us not to keep everybody together, not that I know now.”
It should be a busy summer for the Mavs owner. Now let’s take a look at what else is going on around the league on Monday night:
- The Hawks have recalled Adreian Payne from the D-League, the team announced via press release. Payne had been with the affiliate of the Spurs, and his assignment represented the first use of the new rules for NBA teams without one-to-one D-League affiliates.
- While the Heat were without Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on Sunday, facing the Rondo-less Celtics provided the latest reminder of team president Pat Riley‘s staunch advocacy of the star system, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Winderman implies that Riley, unlike Boston executive Danny Ainge, probably would’ve opted to lock up a player of Rondo’s caliber rather than risk sliding further into mediocrity.
- Andrea Bargnani, who has yet to suit up for the Knicks this season, was adamant on Sunday that he intends to play this season and will return to the NBA next year despite his impending free agency, writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who adds that it’s unlikely the Knicks will bring the Italian forward back.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.