With the NBA regular-season opener a mere 34 days away, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t sure if two of his starters will be in the opening-day starting lineup when his squad plays at Phoenix on Oct. 28.
Shooting guard Wesley Matthews underwent surgery to repair a left torn Achilles tendon on March 11 while he was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Matthews signed a four-year, $70 million free-agent contract with the Mavericks on July 9.
Small forward Chandler Parsons had surgery on May 1 to address a cartilage injury to his right knee. Parsons signed a three-year, $46 million free-agent contract with the Mavericks in the summer of 2014.
I’d say if it was a playoff game they would play opening night. But it’s not. It’s opening night, so we’re not going to rush them.
Owner Mark Cuban on Chandler Parsons and Wesley Matthews
The Mavericks are expecting both players to be leaders in their quest to help the team recapture its glory years. But will they be available for the season opener against Phoenix?
“They’re on schedule, so there’s a chance,’’ Cuban said Thursday afternoon. “But we’re not going to rush them.
“I’d say if it was a playoff game they would play opening night. But it’s not. It’s opening night, so we’re not going to rush them.’’
Cuban was the guest speaker at a luncheon hosted by the North Texas Commission at the Irving Convention Center.
Cuban said 7-foot center JaVale McGee, whom the Mavericks signed Aug. 13, will be slowly worked into the lineup as he tries to overcome some lingering health issues.
Cuban wouldn’t say for certain Parsons and Matthews would be practicing when training camp opens Tuesday in Dallas.
“I haven’t been able to see JaVale play yet because he’s still rehabbing,’’ Cuban said. “But the obvious is the obvious. The guy is an athletic freak.”
Cuban doesn’t expect Parsons, Matthews and McGee to go through the Mavericks’ entire training camp, which opens Tuesday at American Airlines Center.
He’s especially guarded when it comes to Parsons and Matthews because they’re coming off surgery, and he couldn’t say for certain if they both will practice Tuesday.
“There’s always a risk involved with surgery,’’ Cuban said. “But we’ve got great doctors and they told us it might take a little bit of time [for recovery] and that they’ll start the season off slow.
“But they’re all progressing on schedule.”