The Big Mac Blog

Cuban’s free agent plan for Mavs succeeding in terms of “flexibility”

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who was the top free agent target of the Dallas Mavericks, reached an agreement on a max deal to remain with Miami.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who was the top free agent target of the Dallas Mavericks, reached an agreement on a max deal to remain with Miami. AP

The Dallas Mavericks desperately needed Mark Cuban to be right on this one but, predictably, Marky Mark was about 983,202 miles off the mark with his forecasting of the NBA free agent market.

Actually, that estimation may be a bit too close.

Back on June 8, Cuban told ESPN.com’s Tim MacMahon, “Every player thinks it’s just going to be a money train this summer. There’s a lot of money; there’s not THAT much money. … And I think there’s going to be teams that save their money for next year, because it’s a better free agent class. People just presume now that everybody’s going to get paid a lot of money, and it’ll be interesting to see if that happens.”

It’s happening.

Cuban’s prediction would have been akin to betting on the South to defeat the North, or Lamar’s marriage to Khloe lasting.

If you are an NBA player with the word “Free Agent” before your name, you are getting paid. This includes Jeremy Lin.

As I had been fearing, NBA owners don’t care about next summer, no one is saving their money and the door has been locked on Common Sense. Jennifer Lopez may not be on it, but The Money Train arrived at 11:01 p.m. CT on July 1.

Here is a quick list of the free agent contracts verbally agreed to so far - and it’s less than 24 hours into the signing period. All of these are from Yahoo Sports NBA reporter Adrian Wajnaroski:

* The Mavs top target, Heat center Hassan Whiteside, singed a max deal to remain in Miami. Why? Because he’s not dumb. It’s a four-year, $98 million deal.

* Former Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons signed a four-year, $94 million deal with the Grizzlies.

* Solomon Hill has agreed to a four-year, $52M deal with New Orleans.

* The Blazers signed Evan Turner to a four-year, $70 million deal.

* Al Jefferson signed with the Pacers for three years at $30 million.

* The Wizards gave guard Bradley Beal the max, five-year, $128 million contract.

* The Nets gave Jeremy Lin a three-year, $36 million contract. JEREMY LIN GOT MONEY!

* D.J. Augustin signed a four-year, contract with Orlando for $29 million.

* Jordan Clarkson went for four years and $50 million with the Lakers.

* Nicolas Batum signed for five years and $120 million with the Michael Jordan team in Charlotte.

* DeMar DeRozan signed for five years and $139 million with the Raptors.

* Center Timofey Mozgov - who could not get on the floor for the Cavs in the Finals at all - signed for four years at $64 million.

Cue the depressing music here: As you may have noticed, none of these players signed deals with the Dallas Mavericks. Some place Dirk Nowitzki is drowning his sorrows with German Black Forest cake. The entire cake.

The other thing you may have noticed is that one or two of these players are what could called “Great.” They range from pretty “good” to “ish” to “Tall.”

But this is the NBA market - NBA teams have no choice but to over pay for these qualities. If they happen to make some shots, super.

NBA free agency is far from over and there are some names remaining - Dwight Howard - but so far this market has gone exactly the opposite from Cuban’s prediction.

As a result, the Mavs have signed no one but will again lead the NBA in “flexibility.”

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, tengel@star-telegram.com, @macengelprof

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