Of course, no team can talk to the representative of a player before July 1. Nobody would ever dream of such a horrendous act.
It’s not like teams have had constant back-door communications going on with all the players for weeks on end. (How exactly did all the teams know that they had to come to Ohio and pitch LeBron James, not the other way around? ESP?) If there is one thing that is a sham, it is the league’s tampering rules.
But Mark Cuban has already paid one healthy fine for tampering — daring to say publicly he’d love the chance to talk sign-and-trade with LeBron — so he was careful when choosing his words and talking with TMZ (always wise when talking to TMZ).
“Since we can’t talk to agents until (Thursday), it’s up in the air,” Cuban said last night regarding specific targets. “But I have two jets fueled and ready to go if we need to.”
But the point is he is ready to talk to LeBron or Wade and ready to talk business.
“This crop of free agents is taking a much more sophisticated approach than other years. I think that helps the Mavs … Less B.S. and more business.”
DallasBasketball.com laid out the three-point pitch the Mavericks would employ in recent post.
First, they have Dirk Nowtizki, who is the perfect complimentary player to another star. He is the perfect Robin, if you want to be Batman. He is unselfish but can score and rebound. You also get Jason Kidd and a group of good role players.
Second, this is a business deal, not a sideshow. No celebrities, no fancy dinners. Those free agents know this is a business deal, and Dallas is better they want to be treated that way. And Cuban is a business man, he gets it.
Third, they will pay. The Mavericks under Cuban have been about winning, not seeing how large a profit they can turn. Cuban wants a title. If a free agent wants a title, too, there is not better owner more committed to it than Cuban.
With the Mavericks over the cap, it’s not just the player they are going to have to convince, it is the team they are leaving. There will have to be a sign and trade. Bu the Mavericks have the $12 million contract of Erick Dampier, who can be instantly waived, and some good players who also could be thrown in. They have the pieces for a better deal than most.
And they mean business. The Jets are ready to go.