Mark Cuban Says Mavericks are Better Off Without Dwight Howard

by July 18, 2013

It has become a familiar response from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban whenever he whiffs on a superstar during free agency — claim his team is better off without that guy, anyhow. He did it when Deron Williams turned down the Mavs for the Brooklyn Nets; Cuban is doing it again with Dwight Howard having elected to play for the Houston Rockets. Per ESPN: “I think we’ve put ourselves in a spot where we’re in a better spot than we were at if we got just the one max-out deal,’ Cuban said at the Mavs’ summer league game Wednesday night. ‘I think it’d be better shorter and longer term. I don’t want to make that sound the wrong way. I think we’ll be better this year because we added five good players or more.’ Cuban made similar comments last summer, when point guard Deron Williams decided to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets after the Mavs had recruited him. Dallas went 41-41 in 2012-13 with a roster made up primarily of additions on one-year deals, ending the franchise’s 12-year playoff streak. The Mavs were one of five teams to meet in Los Angeles with Howard — Dallas’ admitted Plan A this summer — before the perennial All-Star center decided to sign with the Houston Rockets. The Mavs would have had to make at least one significant roster adjustment, likely trading Shawn Marion or Vince Carter, to carve out the salary-cap space necessary to sign Howard to a four-year, $87.6 million contract. […] The Mavs weren’t successful in their attempts to recruit Williams and Howard, and (Chris) Paul didn’t meet with Dallas before committing to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. ‘Obviously we didn’t get Dwight,’ Cuban said. ‘We took a chance, and it didn’t happen. I think we put together a really good team. It sticks within the culture we’ve tried to define. We’ve dealt with some of the weaknesses we had from last year. Hopefully if we stay healthy, good things will happen.’ […] Cuban has said that this summer is the beginning of a two-year plan to rebuild the Mavs into a championship contender. ‘Obviously, we were disappointed we didn’t get Dwight, but we pretty much got everything else we wanted to get and then some. Much more,’ Cuban said. ‘We never thought we’d be able to get Monta. It turned into a good summer. Now, the key is to get everybody playing together, get everyone healthy, keep them healthy and go.'”