Mark Cuban understands if Tyson Chandler is “salty” with Mavericks

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When July 1 rolled around and Tyson Chandler became a free agent, the Dallas Mavericks focused their attention on a center — DeAndre Jordan.

It was the second time Dallas seemed to undervalue Chandler. The first was not long after he anchored the defense on their 2011 title team, but by next December was shipped to New York as the Mavs remade their roster. When they got him back before last season, owner Mark Cuban said they had learned their lesson.

Not so much, they did it again. While Dallas was in its dalliance with Jordan (we don’t need to rehash that again, do we?), Chandler signed with the Phoenix Suns. Mark Cuban understands if after all that Chandler is ticked at Dallas, something he told “Dennis and Friedo” Friday on 103.3 FM ESPN Dallas (as transcribed by Tim MacMahon of ESPN).

“He does have the right to be salty,” Cuban said…

“I didn’t think it would get to that point,” Cuban said of the 33-year-old Chandler’s departure from Dallas. “We actually tried to have discussions right at the start of the year about an extension and it kind of just died on the vine. His agent didn’t really take it anywhere, and I was the first to say ‘If you don’t want to take it right now, we’ll try to figure something out at the end of the year,’ because I realized that by waiting that gave Tyson an extra year.

“Then the opportunity for DeAndre came along and we were pretty straightforward. Tyson or his agent gave us the ultimatum before the decision was made. He said he wouldn’t wait. That’s his decision. It is what it is. He does have a right to be salty, because I really did suggest to him — and it’s exactly the way I thought — that he’d be here for a long time.”

Everyone played their roles here, it’s just business. Chandler is solid, but Jordan would have been an upgrade, I don’t blame Cuban and the Mavs for going after him. Nor do I blame Chandler for not wanting to wait around to be the Mavs fallback option.

That said, if you have Tyson Chandler on your fantasy team, you may want to make sure he’s active when the Suns first face the Mavericks in the season opener Oct. 28. (If you have Chandler on your fantasy team, we really need to talk about how you construct a team.)