During the CBA negotiations, Mark was adamant about several things. He was not happy with this CBA, and voted against it. Mark probably thought that all other owners will follow his suit in free agency, because he is so much smarter(in his mind) than the rest of them. To be fair, Mark and Donnie are regarded as a smart front office for the Mavs in the media. I am not sure if that is the perception within the league executives as well or not.
Mark thought the owners would hold out on the players, offer them slim contracts for 1 and 2 years. It would be a real buyer's market in free agency. Besides D-Will no other player would be getting max offers. Players would sign to sensible short term contracts.
But that did not happen. CBA or no CBA, the owners/GMs wanted to improve their teams. They made aggressive offers to players, while Mark kept yelling and screaming "Salary Cap", "Financial Flexibility!!!", "CBA!!!", "Luxury Tax!!!" until he was blue in the face.
No one else cares that much about the CBA and what will happen in the future, most owners are super rich guys who run these teams to win, and not necessarily make money. So what if they have to take a loss some years, this is not their source of income. Mark used to be that owner who would do everything and anything to win. Bad contract, no problem, luxury tax, no biggie, financial flexibility, what the hell is that?
Now, for whatever reason finance is all he seems to be concerned about. Filming Shark Tank instead of recruiting the free agents for the team, no media interviews, not a peep from Donnie either. For some reason I feel that maybe Mark has lost money on some other ventures, and is being conservative. Ala Tom Hicks, for the Rangers. I could be wrong but that is just speculation on my part.
Who knows, all I see is the reluctance to pay money and apprehension to take risks.
Now that no one followed Mark's 'advice' he is staying pat just so he can say "I told you so" in a couple of years when the luxury tax hits some of these teams.
The only problem with this logic is that by then Dirk will be past his prime. Probably even traded from the Mavericks. The 'Financial Flexibility' won't do us a lick of good without Dirk.
As a fan, I care about the team, I really feel that we should maximize the last 2-3 good years that are left in Dirk. I am all for rebuilding and fiscal responsibility, but not while Dirk is still a premier player. Think about it from Dirk's perspective, all the guys that he has been playing with for the last several years are gone. The team would not be a lot of fun when you don't have your friends, and you are not even winning. Even Jason Kidd bailed on the Mavs when he saw their reluctance to improve the team. Dirk has a no trade clause, but he could ask to be traded, I would not blame him, rather the blame is on Cuban. Dirk is a unique talent and the best basket ball player that the Mavs have ever had. Misusing him on a 8th seed team is not fair to him, when a lot more can be done.
The Mavs should have taken some risks, even signed some bad contracts to put themselves in a position to contend right now, while Dirk still has a window. Who knows, with a few breaks we could be back in the finals again. They still might sign O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman, Jose Calderon or Ramon Sessions & Marcus Camby and prove me wrong.
From what I have seen so far, it looks quite unlikely. I hope I am wrong.