Things obviously turned out much differently.
More than two months after All-Star guard Williams opted to stay with the Nets for their move to Brooklyn rather than come home to play, the Mavericks formally introduced the five veteran players they were able to add instead.
“We went on the option for the big free agent. That didn’t work out. Honestly, that wasn’t my first choice,” owner Mark Cuban said Monday. “Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t do and they lead to better things. And I think that’s what happened now.”
Dallas got Elton Brand on a waiver claim from Philadelphia, signed free agents Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo, and acquired Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones in a trade from Indiana. All those moves were made in July.
Season ticket holders were invited to attend, and a couple of hundred of them sat in the stands munching on free popcorn. A few even got to ask questions during the hour-long session, which came just less than three weeks before the start of training camp Sept. 29.
Add the three rookies drafted in June, and the Mavericks‘ current 15-player roster has only seven players back from last season. Only four players remain from their NBA title team the year before that, including perennial All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who is going into his 14th season.
“Definitely, we want to keep Dirk’s window open as long as possible to win another championship,” Brand said. “We’re hungry because we don’t have championships and he does. Hopefully, we make just job a lot easier.”
Philadelphia used its one-time amnesty provision in the new CBA to let Brand go, and the Mavs won the waiver claim. The 33-year-old two-time All-Star who will make $18.1 million the final season of a five-year contract that will be paid mostly by the 76ers.
“I’ve still got a lot left in the tank,” Brand said. “I feel great.”
Kaman, a 7-foot center, spent last season in New Orleans after eight years with the Los Angeles Clippers, spending five of those with Brand. Kaman has also been on the German national team with Nowitzki.
Mayo played the first four seasons of his career in Memphis, averaging 15.2 points in 301 games. The 6-foot-4 guard has already been in Dallas about a month acclimating himself to the organization and the area.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Mayo, the former USC star who was the third overall pick in the 2008 draft.View Entire Story
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