Outspoken Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban joined The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley on ESPN Radio 103.3 KESN-FM (h/t to The Dallas Morning News) to discuss the team’s offseason and a number of other topics. The entire interview is worth a look, but here are some of the highlights:
On the Mavs switching to Plan B this offseason after missing out on a number of their top targets:
“We got lucky. There’s not other way to say it. We knew we were long shots with both Hassan Whiteside and with Mike Conley. We knew Mike Conley wasn’t going to turn down the largest contract in NBA history. But we also know that it’s not just about the short-term, it’s the long-term. We wanted to introduce the Mavericks, our style and our organization to both of them because you never know when they’re going to be available in a trade. You never know next free agency. So many things can happen over a period of time in an NBA.
Look what happened with D-Will (Deron Williams). I think our presentation to him from coach and Donnie [Nelson] in particular really set the groundwork for him understanding who we are. On one hand, we didn’t expect to get them to come to the Mavs, but we still think it served a function. From there Harrison Barnes reached out to me at 12:01 like, ‘Dude I want to come there. You’re my first pick, my only pick.’ I went back-and-forth with him like, ‘Yeah, we’d love you too but you’re a restricted free agent. Here’s our course of action. Here’s what we’re going to do.’ I laid it all out for him. He was like, ‘Okay, we’ll see what happens but you guys are my team.’ Fortunately it turned out the way it did.”
On essentially choosing Barnes of Chandler Parsons this summer:
“Can’t go into any details, but I’ll just say it wasn’t a basketball issue. Chandler obviously is a very, very skilled player. There’s a lot of great things to his game. But he’s, in essence, a different player from Harrison. Harrison is longer, more athletic, younger. Just like Chandler really didn’t get a chance to have his game blossom when he was with the Rockets. He just showed glimpses of it because of Dwight Howard and James Harden being there. I think Harrison was kind of in the same role. I think we’re going to give Harrison the opportunity and I know he’s excited about the opportunity to really shine and be a featured guy for us.”
On if Dallas is a better team now than in 2015/16:
“You never know until you know. That’s why we play the games. If you look at last year you look at New Orleans, you look at Houston, you just don’t know. I would have told you last year, and I think I did tell you guys, that we’re about eight sprained ankles away from being a top contender. Now we’re probably only three, maybe four. You just don’t know. Look at Portland and what happened there. You just don’t know.
But I do think we’re a better team. I know we’re far better defensively. I know we’re far more athletic. I think we’ve got more athletic depth. We will miss at some point the Ray Felton’s. There will be game situations where having that veteran presence would have been nice to have. But I really think between Juan Barea, Devin Harris and D-Will (Williams) we’ll make up for a lot of that. I think the explosiveness and the scoring punch of Jonathan Gibson and Seth Curry will more than make up for it.”
On what he expects to receive from Seth Curry:
“A dysfunctional team in Sacramento at the end of the year he played team ball. He struggled some to stick within kind of a dysfunctional system. But when he got the minutes and when he started he put up great numbers. But more importantly, from a catch-and-shoot perspective he’s almost automatic from three. We really didn’t have that. We didn’t have that guy where situationally you just knew if you can get him open he was going to hit that open three. We miss that 42-43% three-point shooter. We just didn’t have it. We think we have that with Seth. I think it’ll make life a little bit easier for Dirk Nowitzki. It’ll allow us to push the ball more and I think it’ll make everybody’s lives a bit easier.“