Dirk, Cuban hobnob with CP3 and Tiger Woods in Vegas

DALLAS — So Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, Chris Paul and Tiger Woods walk into a bar . . .

It sounds like the beginning of a joke in need of a punchline. But in fact, it’s the rich and famous gathering for a weekend in Las Vegas to benefit The Tiger Woods Foundation. This particular event was Poker Night, a $10,000 buy-in tournament. But for Dallas Mavericks owner Cuban (and Paul, his primary target in free agency), the stakes are, of course, higher.

The Dallas Mavericks aren’t allowed to venture into recruiting Paul or any other 2013 NBA free agents until midnight, July 1. But that doesn’t mean the rich and famous can’t rub elbows for a good cause. Woods and skier girlfriend Lindsey Vonn were the hosts this past weekend at his annual Tiger Jam. The photo is from Poker Night at Moorea Beach Club Beachside Casino at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It’s a $10,000 buy-in poker tournament that benefits The Tiger Woods Foundation . . . and, of course, that 10 grand fee keeps the riff-raff out And invites the likes of Dirk, Cuban and Paul in.
DallasBasketball.com reported last week that Paul is the Mavs’ No. 1 target in free agency this summer. (While a CBS report notes that Dwight Howard has the Mavs on his shortlist, that’s long been obvious. The revelation is that he’s No. 2 to Dallas.) Paul can re-sign with the Clippers for five years and $107,343,500 or can join a new team, such as Dallas, for four years and $79,714,196. The Mavs have gained and retained cap room for the past two years for the pursuit of a player of Paul’s level to team with Nowitzki. Nowitzki himself is fully invested in the recruiting process.
Meanwhile, as improbable as it seems, In this space, we have revealed some of the Mavs’ thinking when it comes to ways to acquire Paul and Howard. But again, acquiring one superstar is challenge enough, especially when it means he is guaranteed $27 million less to leave his existing team.
It’s all a gamble of sorts — pun intended — and one that cannot officially begin until July 1. But nothing precludes the parties from doing good deeds for charity.