Mark Cuban can save face by doing the impossible again

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More information NBA’s Most Wanted Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will be one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market this summer. He can impact a game in many ways. Although Memphis eliminated the Clippers in the first round, Paul had some impressive numbers to follow up a strong regular season and continuing career. 3.7 career average for defensive rebounds in a game 9.8 career average for assists per game 16.9 scoring average during the regular season 18.6 career scoring average 22.8 scoring average against Memphis in first round 37.2 average minutes played against Memphis in first round 36.5 career average for minutes played 33.4 average minutes played during the regular season 53.3 percent field goal shooting against Memphis in first round 70 starts in 70 games played during the regular season 89.2 percent free throw shooting against Memphis 555 starts in 555 games played in his seven-year career

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engel Mark Cuban deserves a special spot in the History of Stupid for what he did to his NBA title-winning team.

As the NBA playoffs dribble into the second round to the inevitable Miami Heat slobberfest brought to you by ESPN, we here in the greatness that is Fort Worth/dallas are left to our YouTube highlights of that fun title run.

Two years ago feels like 20.

You do realize that, since the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers, every team that has won one title has won at least one more? Our Dallas Mavericks are dangerously close to becoming the only one-and-done NBA champions in the modern era.

Perhaps we shouldn’t complain, because most teams never get one. But since it is our birthright to whine about the things we don’t have, the Mavs should have had another in the Dirk Era.

There is, however, a plan.

We here at the Mack Ingle Institute of Saving Face are currently offering a quick one-step plan to get Mark Cuban out of his own Shark Tank and back in the good graces of all Mavs fans.

This plan does not come with a set of steak knives, but it will surely be signed off by Dirk Nowitzki and certainly by head coach Rick Carlisle.

The only way the decision to dismantle the Mavs’ title-winning team is worth it is if they sign Chris Paul.

“CP3 is the complete package. He’s probably the best point guard in the league right now,” Dirk said to us media masses the day after the Mavs’ season ended. “We’d love to get a point guard who can score and get into the lane.”

There is no “probably” about it. Paul is the best point guard in the league.

He is much better than Deron Williams. You remember him. He is the player the Mavs’ gutted their NBA title team to pursue. That worked out well.

The Los Angeles Clippers’ season is over, and now Paul will become a free agent along with Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard.

No top-tier free agent has ever left the pretty people on the right or left coasts for us denizens of Middle Earth, so this is a long shot.

Please spare me the talk of: “He’s going to want to come to Texas because we don’t have a state tax!” We also have Six Flags, SeaWorld and a water park in North Richland Hills.

Put “no state tax” as a reason to sign with a team next to “great public schools.”

I don’t care if California taxes its millionaires roughly 12 percent — no player has ever signed a big deal because of taxes. The rich don’t care because they’re rich.

The only reasons CP3 to the Mavs has a prayer is because the team is approximately $87.4 billion dollars under the NBA’s salary cap, and the Clippers are owned by the second worst team owner in sports — Donald Sterling (No. 1 is Bengals owner Mike Brown). If any NBA owner can screw up the good thing going with the Clippers, it’s Sterling.

The Clippers can offer about $28 million more over five years than any other team. The Lakers are about the same with Dwight Howard.

That number alone usually does it for free agents, and no one can blame them.

But Sterling has never been crazy about paying players, and this will test his resolve about whether he actually wants to own a contending team or just a team.

The first sign we’ll know if Sterling is serious about trying to win — and keep Paul — is what he does with coach Vinny Del Negro, whose contract has expired. If Vinny returns, Paul is probably going to think long and hard about not returning despite the money.

If Vinny is gone, Paul is going to have a say in who he wants to be his next head coach, and it means he likely is coming back.

Either way, Paul said he plans to at least try free agency, which means he will listen.

The Mavs can’t Skype, or text, this recruiting pitch the way they did with Deron Williams.

Dirk has said he will be a willing recruiter, so he needs to be on a plane to meet personally with CP3.

Cuban has to put on his special sales pitch T-shirt for a face-to-face with Paul rather than send GM Donnie Nelson and team ambassador Michael Finley.

Free agents of Paul’s caliber want to be made to feel special, and they want to meet with the people who matter the most. In this case, that’s Cuban and Dirk.

Cuban has already done the impossible by presiding over the Mavericks’ title and then blowing it up.

Now he can do the impossible again by doing what no one thinks can happen — landing Chris Paul.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof

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