Mark Cuban's response to Tim McMahon asking "What am I missing:" (I bolded the phrases I found most insightful)
If this were the old CBA rules, we probably would have kept everyone together. But the rules changed.
If we were able to sign everyone to two-year deals, that would have possibly changed things as well, but that wasn’t in the cards either.
What you are missing is that it’s not about the luxury tax. It’s about the ability to improve our team going forward.
The reality is that in the new system, cap room will have far more value than it had in the past. I realize that everyone is all freaked out about how and where free agents and future free agents are going, but it’s not just about getting one guy.
We are not saving cap room in hope of that one super special free agent being there. It’s about being in the position to improve every year and possibly add some significant, younger players next year and in future years.
What I don’t think people understand is that once a team hits the tax level the ability to improve our team is reduced dramatically. In addition, your ability to make trades is reduced. So basically, if we made the move to keep everyone together with five-year deals, the team we have today is going to be the team we have for the next five years. If we were a young team it would be one thing. But we are not a young team.
In the past, it was different. If we had a problem, I could fix any mistake by having Donnie find a trade and just taking on more money. That is how we got Jet, the Matrix, JKidd, Tyson. It was always about taking on more money. That trick doesn’t work any more for teams over the tax. So we have to change our approach. By getting back under the cap, we have a ton of flexibility not only for free agent signings but also trades. If we can get the right guy(s) via free agency, great. if we do it via trade, great. We have that much more flexibility to make moves.
Again, I know this is tough for all of us after winning a championship. But we still believe as much as last year we are in a position to compete for a championship.
The difference is that with this approach, we can be in a position to compete for a championship this year and to reload and continue to compete in future years.
By just signing everyone to long-term deals, there is no chance of that happening.
We won last year because we put ourselves in a position to create opportunities that brought us the right players at the right time.
We structured contracts in ways that gave us upside. The rules are different now, and while it makes it tougher this year because of the affection we have for many of the guys that are leaving, if we want the Mavs to be able to compete for championships in future years as well, it’s a hard decision, but I believe the right decision.
Click the link above for McMahon's intro to this quote. My thoughts and your comments after the jump:
The Mavs lost their modus operandi when the new CBA was ratified. This will be jarring for everyone, but it is good news that Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have clearly analyzed the new agreement, and have put together short- and long-term plans that will allow this team to stay competitive.
From the tone of this quote, it appears Cuban isn't overjoyed that he has to resort to this approach, but I'm glad he's realist enough to sit back and evaluate objectively before making a decision that would likely haunt the franchise for a half-decade. The Mavs will be in a much better position during that time than the idiots that are massively overpaying for Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and other non-stars right now.