The Dallas Mavericks came to terms Tuesday with free agent forward Charlie Villanueva on a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum.
But owner Mark Cuban won’t be talking about it. At least not for two more days.
The NBA fined Cuban $25,000 Tuesday for making comments about free agents DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews during a radio interview last week. Jordan and Matthews have agreed to sign with the Mavs.
However, team officials are forbidden from publicly discussing those players during the NBA’s moratorium period, which ends Thursday. But apparently in his excitement about nabbing the pair of hot-shot free agents — Jordan is the first major free agent player in the Mavs’ 35-year history — Cuban let his enthusiasm get the best of him.
Talking about Jordan on Friday, Cuban told KTCK/96.7 FM: “We see him as ‘Shaq-like,’ but never having been given the opportunity. We told him if he came to the Mavs he would be a focal point — he would grow into being a franchise player.”
In regards to Matthews, who is recovering from season-ending surgery on March 11 for a torn left Achilles’ tendon, Cuban said: “We’re not putting a timetable on it. Like I told Wes, if he opens up with [training] camp, great.
“If he starts the season, great. If he misses 30 games, great. I don’t care, because we didn’t sign him for this year.”
Since purchasing the Mavs on Jan. 4, 2000, Cuban has been fined nearly $2 million by the NBA. Most of the fines were levied under former commissioner David Stern, who resigned on Feb. 1, 2014.
Villanueva, a 10-year veteran, averaged 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.6 minutes per game last season, his first with the Mavericks. Dallas mainly used Villanueva, who turns 31 on Aug. 24, as a 3-point shooter who can stretch the floor.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760