Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Cuban says Mavs better off without DWill, ticked at Kidd
Mark Cuban actually thinks his team is better off without Deron Williams.
The Mavericks owner said that signing the All-Star point guard to a mega contract would have hampered Dallas' ability to surround him and Dirk Nowitzki with enough talent.
"In hindsight, I don't know if I would have been happy," told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Ben & Skin Show" on Tuesday. "I think we're in better position now than we would have been if we had gotten him."
Williams mulled signing with his hometown team, but ultimately chose to re-sign with the Nets after he saw GM Billy King's wheeling and dealing once free agency began July 1. The Mavs, who were also spurned by Jason Kidd, signed O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman, and traded for Darren Collison. They also were awarded Elton Brand via the amnesty waiver process.
"I don't want to pick on Deron Williams because he's a great, great, great player, and so it's not necessarily him per se," Cuban said. "The conversation we had going back and forth -- and obviously the decision was to go for him -- but the conversation was, 'OK, once you add $17.1 million in salary to what we'd have with Dirk and Trix [Shawn Marion], then what do you do?'
"That's your squad. And it's not just your squad for this year. It's your squad for next year other than the $3.3 million mini midlevel. So that was a challenge that we had because we want to win, and everybody talks about Dirk's window. Well, not only would it have been difficult to add players, it also would have been difficult to trade players. And in reality that was the same problem that Deron had.
"Because he looked and saw the same thing and said, 'OK, now what are you going to do?'"
Cuban is steamed at Kidd for opting to sign with the Knicks. He thought the two sides had a deal before Kidd chose to come to New York, taking a three-year, $9 million deal that was reportedly close to what the Mavs offered.
"I was more than upset," Cuban said. "I thought he was coming. I was pissed. J-Kidd is a big boy. He can do whatever he wants. But you don't change your mind like that. ... Yeah. I'm sure I'll get over it at some point. But as of now, I wouldn't put J-Kidd's number in the rafters."
Cuban wasn't done.
"It hurt my feelings, period," he said, "because I felt that we had developed a relationship. I thought that he was committed to the organization. It sure seemed that he was. J-Kidd was active in going out there and talking to Deron Williams the whole time. I guess it was more shocking and surprising than anything else."