After the Dallas Mavericks won it all back in 2011, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made it clear that re-signing Tyson Chandler was a top priority. A lockout and a new NBA collective bargaining agreement later, Cuban was unwilling to even attempt to outbid the Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks for Chandler’s services.
Cuban, of course, thought he would eventually be able to sign Deron Williams, Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. Pat Riley once said after his Miami Heat lost a heartbreaking playoff series that in this league, “There’s winning, and then there’s suffering. We will suffer.” And the Mavericks, after that foolish strategy by Cuban, have suffered.
However, there was finally a bright spot last year–Monta Ellis. Mavericks fans finally got a breath of fresh air with Ellis, especially after having experienced the nightmare that was Darren Collison and some guy named O.J. Mayo. And Ellis didn’t just prove to the world that “Monta Ellis have it all,” but that he and Dirk Nowitzki are a dynamic duo. Of all the players Nowitzki has ever played with, Ellis complements his game more than all those other guys.
But Ellis, while locked up for the upcoming season, can forego the final year of his contract with the Mavericks. So that means if Ellis has another big season next year, he can take his talents elsewhere, just like Chandler did. It would make too much sense, then, to give Ellis that contract extension yesterday.
But will Cuban open up the checkbook? Or will he ride out this latest bargain another year? Back in 2012, Mavericks legend Jason Terry wrote “STC” (Sign the Check) on his sneakers. While that was cute, it was ridiculous because Terry was pretty much worn out at that stage of his career.
But Ellis isn’t in his twilight years just yet. Cuban can’t afford to lose his only sexy piece aside from Nowitzki, but he will if he doesn’t lock up Ellis right now.