During the NBA's frenzied free agency period in July, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he was very upfront with Tyson Chandler about the team's future plans.
Cuban claims he told Chandler that while he may be interested in re-signing the veteran big man, he was going to see if he could persuade DeAndre Jordan to join the team first. Once it appeared as though Jordan was going to the Mavericks (even though he ultimately did not), Chandler agreed to a free agent deal with the Suns.
But there was a little more to it than that.
Cuban made it seem like Chandler was going to be in Dallas for a long time when he brought him back to the team before last season, and also claimed that he wanted to talk contract extension last year, but that Chandler declined. In an interview with the Arizona Republic, Chandler straight up called bullshit on Cuban's portrayal of these events.
"When they traded for me to come back, I sat at the podium with everybody else and heard them say this was going to be a long-term deal and they weren’t going to make the same mistake as last time and blah-blah-blah," Chandler said. "Seven months later, the same thing happens again. But I learned in this business that you can’t trust everybody. That’s why it is what it is.”
When Chandler was reintroduced in Dallas last year, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “Let’s just say I learn from my mistakes.” Cuban recently told ESPN’s Dallas radio affiliate that Chandler has a right to feel “salty” because he suggested Chandler would be there for a long time.
That changed when Jordan became available, although Cuban also said in the radio interview that Dallas approached Chandler about an extension last year and that Chandler’s camp gave Dallas an ultimatum when the Suns came after him.
“I saw the bull---- they put out,” Chandler said. “It’s just bull----. Just saving face. It was what it was. It was clear. The whole process was going on while I was basically still in the jersey.”
We're not going to shed any tears for Chandler here, because the deal he signed with Phoenix ($52 million over four years) was for far more than he would have gotten in Dallas or anywhere else. But for players with families who would prefer to put down roots, the prospect of having to leave after you were told you'd be there for the long haul can certainly be frustrating.
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