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Mark Cuban won't be at the meeting with Deron Williams on Monday

"Hey, you wanna get lunch on Monday? I'm free!"
"Hey, you wanna get lunch on Monday? I'm free!"

Come again?

Yep. Mark Cuban WON'T be meeting with free agent point guard Deron Williams on Monday, according to's Marc Stein. Instead, he'll be in Los Angeles, working on "Shark Tank."

Let me repeat: the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who many consider one of the best owners in sports and a big reason why big free agents would sign with the Mavericks, won't be meeting with the potential free agent that can alter his franchise's foreseeable future and could eventually replace the aging Dirk Nowitzki as the franchise player.

This probably isn't a big deal, but consider the following:

  • The Mavericks have sacrificed two first round picks in the last two years to follow a plan to get Williams and secure more cap space. Say what you will about Jared Cunningham, but if the Mavericks TRULY valued talent/need over cap space, I can't imagine the Mavericks would have traded down and drafted Cunningham when they already have two similar guards in Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones on the roster. Sspecially when there were plenty of center/forward options that the Mavericks have a much greater need for (Tyler Zeller, Royce White, Perry Jones and Terrence Jones).
  • Dallas refused to give Tyson Chandler more than a year or two, letting the linchpin of their sublime 2011 defense (and in some ways, the offense too) to maintain financial space for the following free agent class. Chandler went on to have an even better year in New York, winning Defensive Play of the Year and flirting with Wilt Chamberlin's all-time shooting percentage record.
Cuban did those two things in order to grab enough cap room to make a run at Williams. And, call me over dramatic, but don't you think the person responsible for making such moves should be, you know, IN ATTENDANCE FOR THE MEETING WITH THE PLAYER YOU'VE SPENT OVER A YEAR MAKING PREPARATIONS TO GET?

Instead, it'll be Donnie Nelson, Rick Carlisle (expected) and Michael Finely (weird, but a Mavericks great.) To be fair, Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki have both called and made pitches to Williams over the phone. But I just find it off-putting in what could be one of the biggest days that decides the Mavericks future in the next five years, Cuban is spending it working on a TV show.