Tyson Chandler says new labor deal could keep him from Mavs

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The Dallas Mavericks’ title defense could take a real hit from the new NBA collective bargaining agreement.

Dallas is already over the salary cap wit $60 million in salary committed for next season, and they have multiple key free agents they want to re-sign — Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, and J.J. Barea. The new punitive luxury tax will kick in around $70 million and Dallas will not be able to keep all it’s key role players. (Dallas had the third highest payroll in the league at $86 million last season.)

Chandler said the new labor deals may mean he cannot return to the Mavericks, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“With the collective bargaining agreement and some of the things that they’re trying to enforce, it would basically prohibit me from coming back,” Chandler told KESN-FM FM in Dallas. “It would take it out of my hands — and the organization’s — because it would almost be pretty much impossible for me to re-sign. I just think that can be the worst thing that can happen.”

“For years, the Lakers have been able to win championships and re-sign their players and keep them there so they can go out for another title,” Chandler said. “Now, to put that deal in place after we win ours, I don’t like it one bit.”

I don’t think you need reminding how key Chandler is to Dallas’ title run and chances. He is the big defender and rebounder in the middle that allows Dirk Nowitzki to do his thing. Adding him was key to their title run. Dallas has said brining him back is their top priority. But can they at a price he will accept?

This is what the new labor deal will bring — the stars are still going to get paid. You need a Nowitzki or a Kobe Bryant or Dwyane Wade or Tim Duncan to get a title (2004 Pistons excepted). The stars fill the building and make teams profitable. But to win a ring means having the right role players around those stars and that is going to be harder both to put together and keep together under the new CBA.

And I don’t think that’s good for the game. Good for profits for smaller markets, but not good for the game.