Mark Cuban would have matched Parsons; sees him playing four positions

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks' owner was at Las Vegas with the Dallas Mavericks summer league squad and talked about what is turning into a successful offseason for his team.

If Mark Cuban had been in Daryl Morey's place, he would have matched Chandler Parsons' offer sheet. He's pretty happy they felt differently, though.

"I like it, obviously," he said to media at the Las Vegas Summer League. But he wasn't surprised at Houston's eventual decision: "We knew based off the numbers they were going to have to make some tough choices."

Not just a small forward

"Chandler's skilled in a lot of different ways," Cuban said. "He's versatile, he can play four positions, he's a great passer."

Not only can he play them, but the plan is that he will. "He'll bring the ball up. He's the old Nellie point forward personified."

Daryl Morey said that he doesn't feel Parsons could be a third option on a championship team, a big part of why they passed on matching his contract. Cuban didn't elaborate much, but disagreed with Morey's assessment.

In Parsons' defense

"He's a willing defender," Cuban said. "One of the reasons we went after him, one of the things I do is I talk to all of the scorers that I know, and I ask them, 'who defended you the best, just the top three?' And Chandler was on a couple different lists."

That's not to say Parsons is a shutdown defender, and Cuban made that clear, describing him as a "work hard" defender. However, being coached by Rick Carlisle tends to help players improve as defenders.

"I think coach will do a lot better job, if you just look at his stances or stuff like that. Coach will get on him and we do a lot of drills for the little stuff like that."

Young with upside

Having a great player as young as the 25-year-old Parsons is something the Mavericks haven't seen in a while. Add in the 28-year-old Monta Ellis, and the Mavericks are starting to position themselves for life after Dirk Nowitzki.

"Dirk and Mark Aguirre were both in their 20s," he joked. It's been a while.

Filling out the roster

With a couple rosters spot left, the Mavericks still have business to conduct -- especially as the market settles.

"There's guys who we think will be minimum players, but they don't want to be minimum players, so they're all holding out," Cuban said. "We've got a couple different areas we want to improve in, and we'll pick the best players in those different areas."

The Mavericks might not need a backup power forward for Dirk. Cuban said Brandan Wright may play there a lot more next season, and that a Brandan Wright-Tyson Chandler front court is a real possibility. Devin Harris and Chandler Parsons are both excellent at throwing the lob, and overall, the team is much more versatile.

Who is Greg Smith?

"A 5/4, backing up Tyson and being able to bang, but he's athletic," Cuban said. "Really skilled, and he's young. Like most big men, it takes a little bit of time."

Cuban said the Mavericks have been trying to trade for Smith for the past two years. It's possible that Smith will be able to play in one of the final Summer League games pending his team physical tomorrow. The Mavericks are off on Tuesday and will have at least two more games in the final days of Summer League.

Although the roster moves aren't finalized, Smith is likely to be a DeJuan Blair replacement.

"Greg will have a chance to take DeJuan's place -- if DeJuan leaves, because there's a chance he could come back. We're keeping all of our options open."

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