Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/7/12
The Mavericks needed future salary cap flexibility so they parted ways with a few key pieces from their 2011 championship team. And no departure was more significant than Tyson Chandler, who gave the franchise a legitimate center to play alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Would things have been different if the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year re-signed with the Mavericks rather than joining the New York Knicks ? Would the Mavs been able to at least advance past the first round of the playoffs? Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson says no. "Tyson Chandler being on this team would not have guaranteed us a series win against the Oklahoma City Thunder ," Nelson said Sunday during exit interviews at American Airlines Center. "All I'm saying is it's very, very difficult to repeat as a champion. Things are thick out West. And that guarantees nothing. It certainly helps you be a better basketball team, but again, it takes away from your flexibility this summer." Nelson added: "There's no fans bigger of Tyson Chandler than the guys in that locker room and this management staff. We understand what he brings to the table. "But we also would not have won that series had he been here. We might have won more games. We might have put ourselves in better position. But there's no question that they're a better team. "We'd be sitting here today and you'd be telling me, 'Man, you guys are all locked up and no place to go and no flexibility, blah, blah, blah.' So it's just what it is. We exited sooner than we thought. We're all in a little bit of state of shock, but we have the ability this summer to go out and be active and be free-agent players. So we got to run out the ground ball." Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota
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