For the third time in as many offseasons, Cuban is betting on his Shark Tank charm - and Broadcast.com funded wallet - that he can land the "big fish" in NBA free agency.
Didn't quite work out in 2012 for Deron Williams. Or 2013 for Chris Paul, or Dwight Howard.
But in 2014, this time, the plan will work for LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. Or Chris Bosh. Or Dwyane Wade.
(Yes, Dirk Nowitzki is a free agent, but he is not going anywhere.)
Since the NBA and the NBA player's union brokered a new contract in 2011, the Mavs have embraced the plan to go after the big name veteran free agent, and it has resulted in the following players who have signed with the team since '11:
* Devin Harris
* DeJuan Blair
* Gal Mekel
* Wayne Ellington
* Chris Kaman
* Elton Brand
* Samuel Dalembert
* Jose Calderon
* Monta Ellis
Staying with the trite fishing analogies, the Mavs free agent additions looks like a bucket of cod and minnows.
LeBron is not coming here. Neither is Bosh. Nor is Wade. The best chance at a big fish name is 'Melo, who reportedly is visiting Chicago, Dallas and Houston about possibly leaving New York to join his third NBA team.
Catching Melo, while plausible, even feels like a dream, leaving the Mavs once again to hope they can add a second-tier FA the way they did Monta Ellis, who played like a top-tier player. The Mavs signed Ellis last year to a three-year, $25 million deal and he exceeded all expectations.
The more likely option is the team will go the Jose Calderon route; the Mavs added Calderon last year when they gave him a four-year contract. He was a nice player, but not worth the four years. The Mavs unloaded Calderon recently as part of the Tyson Chandler trade.
The Calderon route will result in the Mavs adding a nice player but giving him a four-year contract that is one season too many. This summer, that means Luol Deng, Chandler Parsons or (gulp) Pau Gasol.
Cuban is not settling yet, and still has his Captain Ahab harpoon believing that, eventually, he will land his big fish.
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