The Dallas Mavericks believe they're in a better spot after not signing Dwight Howard, according to team owner Mark Cuban. Doubling down on the comments, Cuban went to clarify himself to ESPN Dallas, too, saying that missing out on the Howard sweepstakes helped his team with both the short- and long-term goals of the franchise.
The Mavericks were one of a handful of teams seriously pursuing Howard this offseason before the enigmatic big man decided he was going to leave the bright lights of the Los Angeles Lakers to take his talents to the Houston Rockets. That apparently doesn't bother the Mavericks, says Cuban, because they believe they got the better end of that deal.
"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."
That wasn't all that Cuban would say about the situation, however, as he eventually made the comments that will likely draw ire from the rest of the league.
"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 told ESPNDallas.com. "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."
The problem with those comments isn't just saying that getting a franchise-altering big man wouldn't have been worth as much as signing Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, Samuel Dalembert and Devin Harris (which, you know, is laughable). The problem is that he stripped the 2011 championship team in order to make a run at a max contract free agent this summer, a plan that obviously failed ... and he's still considering it a success.
It's going to be interesting if the Mavericks are able to make a big splash somehow next year -- either through an early pick in a loaded draft or finally finding a way to lure a big-time free agent to Dallas -- but it's clear the Mavericks have their work cut out if they want to be considered title contenders.
That would not have been the case had they been able to lure Howard to the Big D this summer.