The Rockets opted for cap flexibility ... and Dallas gets its man, a versatile and creative 16-points-a-game (and 5.5 rebounds per) weapon who certainly had a bond with the Rockets but with a Orlando nightclub singing of a pricy offer sheet demonstrated a bond with Cuban and the Mavs, too.
Andrew Richardson / USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Fisher
The last time the Dallas Mavericks vaulted boldly into a match-able bid on a restricted free agent, they got Kicked In The Gortats.
This time around?
They avoided getting Poked In The Parsons, their bold stroke to try to force the Rockets' salary-cap hand working in a way that brings Chandler Parsons -- a creative 6-9 offensive force and Dirk's "boy'' -- to Dallas.
The original intention was to put Houston in a Parsons pinch here. But of course, that was secondary. The primary goal was to accumulate talent. And given the fact that the Dallas Mavericks (by virtue of Parsons' restricted-free-agent status complete with Houston's right to match and retain -- Dallas really did have to sweat this one out.
While the Rockets took their time mulling Parsons' three-year, $46-mil contract, they also signed another small forward, Trevor Ariza - who had been a Mavs alternative to Parsons. Meanwhile, over the course of this weekend, other Dallas targets like Luol Deng (to Miami) and Paul Pierce (to Washington) flew off the shelves. The flurry of small-forward activity even saw Dallas lose sixth man Vince Carter (to Memphis), with Dallas' vet's-minimum signing of Shawn Jefferson mitigating that loss a bit.
We saw logic in Houston opting to spend (on Ariza) and retain (Parsons) even though they would've expensively played the same position. Ultimately, the Rockets opted for cap flexibility ... and Dallas gets its man, a versatile and creative 16-points-a-game (and 5.5 rebounds per) weapon who certainly had a bond with the Rockets but with a Orlando nightclub singing of a pricy offer sheet demonstrated a bond with Cuban and the Mavs, too.
"Hello, Dallas! MFFL'' tweeted Parsons at 5:45, further cementing the bond.
Is this an overpay? Yes. Dallas is paying a premium price for a second-tier star, the same sort of $15-mil-a-year contract it refused to give Tyson Chandler immediately following the 2011 championship. (TY is of course back in Dallas - and making that very same salary.)
But it's also the cost of getting better. Dallas has just $21 million invested this season in three other front-line standouts, Dirk, Monta and Tyson. That allows room to spend in order to improve on last season's 49-win team.
Cuban's stated philosophy on bidding on restricted free agents is that there is no risk:
"It's not really a 'danger','' the owner recently told recently told "Ben & Skin'' on 105.3 The Fan. "A lot of people will say if you go after a guy and you don't sign him that's a bad sign ... I think that's ridiculous. That's like saying if I don't walk in to a company and make the sale that I never should have tried and that's just not the way I approach these.
"It's not like if you sign a restricted free agent and (the other team matches) and all of a sudden you've lost all that cap room ... You've got as much money and you've really lost nothing for trying and I can make an argument that worst case, even if you don't get the restricted free agent you've made the other team lock up their cap room.''
Well, for the last three days, it felt "dangerous.'' It felt like Dallas might need to find other targets. It felt like the Mavs were about to repeat the summer of 2010, when they put so many eggs into the basket of a bid on center Marcin Gortat only to be surprised when Orlando matched-and-kept -- thus, getting "Kicked In The Gortats.''
This time, the Mavs get to do the kicking as part of their celebration.