DALLAS -- The loss of Jason Terry and Jason Kidd via free agency earlier this month was a difficult proposition for the Dallas Mavericks.
Terry signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Boston Celtics, while Kidd changed his mind at the 11th hour and agreed to a three-year, $9 million deal with the New York Knicks. Those were painful losses for the Mavs, because they're wo players who helped them win the 2011 NBA title, and two players who were very instrumental in the Fort Worth/Dallas community.
“It was hard because those are very special guys and those are guys that were not just part of our culture and success, but quality guys that are all about winning and doing it the right way,'' general manager Donnie Nelson said. "So when you lose those guys -- whether guys retire or whether you lose them through free agency -- it is hard.
"Those are big shoes to fill.''
The Mavs started free agency by losing out on point guard Deron Williams, who decided to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets instead of returning home to play for Dallas. That put the Mavs in Plan B mode, particularly since they had targeted Willians as their top free agent priority.
"Eventually you’ve got to make those decisions, some of those situations you make, and some of those decisions are made for you,'' Nelson said. "I think with the D-Will thing we had the flexibility to go out and be aggressive with an offer.
"We put our best foot forward, we got to the 1-yard line and we didn’t punch it in the end zone. When things don’t go your way you can sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or you can pick yourself up by the boot straps and hop back in the saddle and get back out in the marketplace, and that’s what we did.''
-- Dwain Price
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