The Dallas Mavericks are the reigning NBA Champions, but are off to a slow start this season. When they won the NBA title, the Mavericks played sound defense and didn’t give up easy baskets. Much of that defensive success was because of the presence of Tyson Chandler.
When Chandler and several other Mavs players, including J.J. Barea and Caron Butler, became free agents after their championship season, the Mavericks decided to offer these players only one year contracts. Chandler and the other Mavericks’ free agents saw the Mavericks struggle coming, so they went to look for a new basketball home.
“Honestly, I kind of saw it coming because when you put a team in a situation where you say, ‘You’re the defending champions, but we’re not necessarily trying to repeat,’ and when I say that, I’m not saying that they don’t have the pieces there, I obviously think very highly of those guys, but I say that because they offered everybody one-year deals,” he said.
“So they knew nobody was going to necessarily accept that. … And when you have veteran guys in the locker room, the type of guys they got, in this time of their career, it’s tough to face that.”
The Mavericks may have been wise in not giving Chandler the four year, $56 million dollar contract that he signed with the Knicks. They have positioned themselves to possibly make a run at Dwight Howard and Deron Williams during free agency in 2012. However, it is no coincidence the Mavericks are struggling this year without Chandler middle of the paint.