Tyson Chandler Saw Mavericks’ Struggles Coming
Tyson Chandler is one of the players the Dallas Mavericks let walk in free agency. Dallas would have loved to re-sign him, J.J. Barea, and Caron Butler, but they had to spend wisely given the new luxury tax rules. The Mavs could be saving their money to make a run at Dwight Howard and Deron Williams next year, but the approach is hindering them this season; they’ve suffered two blowout losses. Chandler, now with the Knicks, says he saw it coming.
“Yeah, honestly, I kind of saw it coming because when you put a team in a situation where you say, ‘You’re the defending champions but we’re not necessarily trying to repeat.’ When I say that, I’m not saying they don’t have the pieces there — I obviously think very highly of those guys,” Chandler said. “I say that because they offered everybody one-year deals, so they knew nobody was going to necessarily accept that. You’re basically telling all the players in the locker room, ‘We’re playing for free agency next year,’ after a championship.
“You’ve got veteran guys in the locker room. In this time in their career, it’s tough to face that. They’re going through a little lull right now, but I’m hoping for those guys that it turns around because there’s truly good guys in that locker room.”
In the past, Mark Cuban probably would have spent to keep Chandler and Barea, while still making a run at Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Now that rules have changed, he can’t. Whether they land those two superstars next offseason will help determine if this year’s frugal approach pays off.