Mavs have LA meetings set up with a couple of players

FRISCO, Texas – By trading back a couple times during the first round of Thursday night’s NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks were able to save some money. That’s obviously a good thing when your top offseason goal is to land star center Dwight Howard.

But exactly how much money did they save?

“I forget the exact amount, but we saved some money,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said. “We got enough to go to 7-Eleven.”

Cuban was at Dr. Pepper Ballpark on Friday to take some practice swings before Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Saturday. The Mavs owner didn’t get into specifics when questioned about the team having enough space to sign Howard. Cuban also declined getting into details about individual free agents because of fear of being fined by the league.

However, he did say: “We’re going to go out to L.A. We’ve set a meeting date with a couple of different players.”

“We made it clear to everybody that we’re exploring different options,” Cuban said. “It’s just not one approach. Last year it was one-year deals because we wanted to get to this year, not just because of the big names but there were other names that we really liked. This year it’s not going to be about one-year deals.”

So, what is it about this offseason?

“We’re looking to get good,” Cuban said. “We haven’t changed our approach in 13 years, just to be opportunistic. When something comes along that makes a lot of sense, we’re going to do it. We sat there yesterday going, ‘Look, if there’s a deal that falls into our lap, that precludes us from going after a maxed-out free agent, we’ll take it.’ We were having a lot of conversation yesterday that would’ve taken us out of any max free agent signing.

“We’re open to anything.”

Follow Jon Machota on Twitter: @jonmachota