Mavs enter draft seeking stability for roster

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 26, 2013
After two years building a roster on the notion of temporary, the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban are ready for something a little more permanent. The question is whether finding new partners for Dirk Nowitzki - or deciding to keep some of the old ones - starts during the NBA draft Thursday night or in free agency next week. While Cuban still believes the Mavericks did the right thing when they decided not to keep several key pieces of the franchise's first championship team in 2011, the reality of missing the playoffs for the first time in a full season as owner had him conceding a few points. Among them: It would be nice to plug in key players who are going to be around awhile. ''We've turned over pieces before, a lot of pieces before. It's just that the remaining pieces were a little more of a core,'' Cuban said when the end of Dallas' 12-season playoff streak was all but official. ''We want to add the right pieces, but corporate knowledge is always important. So hopefully part of the process is we'll be adding guys that we know will be here and keeping guys to be here a long time.'' The Mavericks kept alive their playoff streak the first time they filled a roster with expiring or one-year contracts, but they got swept by Oklahoma City in the first round in 2012. The same approach backfired when Nowitzki missed the first two months last season, and Dallas ran out of time trying to scramble into the playoff picture. Nowitzki, who turned 35 last week, is close enough to the end of his career that Dallas has to be thinking about life after the 7-foot German superstar, but that answer isn't likely to come from the No. 13 pick in a draft considered weak on future franchise leaders. What's more conceivable is a trade down to bolster Nowitzki's supporting cast and possibly create more salary cap space for what is looking more like a run at center Dwight Howard in free agency after Doc Rivers' coaching move from Boston to Los Angeles went a long way toward clinching point guard Chris Paul's return to the Clippers. ''I guess it's like a business going out of business and I haven't had many of those,'' said Cuban, whose team was in the draft lottery for the first time since a few months after he bought the team in 2000. ''The difference is in other businesses you go out and sell something, you can try to control your own destiny and hustle and do better. Here you've got 29 other teams trying to do the same ... and beat you at it so it's harder.'' The Mavericks have more vacancies in their starting lineup (three) than draft picks (two). They need a point guard, a shooting guard and a center after the one-year experiment of Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman didn't work. Mayo looks like the only one of those three free agents who might come back, and his return is far from certain. Dallas might have another starter on the roster in swingman Jae Crowder, one of three draft picks last year and the first since Devin Harris, the No. 5 pick in 2004, to play more than 70 games as a rookie. Jared Cunningham, the first of last year's three picks at No. 24, is the only point guard on what is just a six-player roster right now, but that could change Thursday night. With Mayo possibly commanding more than the Mavericks want to pay, shooting guard figures to be a draft target as well. Or a trade target through the draft. ''I guess if you miss the playoffs, by definition you're rebuilding,'' Cuban said. ''And so we've got to get better. All I'm saying is I'm not making any predictions. All I'm saying is we're not going to a traditional rebuilding. We're going to be opportunistic.'' And hoping to end a two-year streak of temporary. --- Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Former NFL LB Armstrong, wife reportedly killed by 16-year-old son

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker