In a unexpected twist on the 1st day that NBA groups and agents could start speaking about new contracts, Tyson Chandler came away sure that his time with the Dallas Mavericks is coming to a close. NFL lines
“I truly think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler said in a telephone interview Wednesday night. “I’m truly taking a hard look at all of my options, attempting to see what best suits me.”
Chandler’s doubts about the Mavericks ‘ eagerness to re-sign him to a lucrative long-term deal are bound to be pleasant news for the groups already courting him in these first stages of free agency. Chandler and Denver center Nene rank as the two most coveted unrestricted free agents in the 2011 class, but the overwhelming sentiment in numerous front offices has been that Chandler’s return to Dallas was fundamentally a lock after the 7-footer’s role in helping the Mavericks win their first championship.
Chandler, though , insisted Wednesday that such hunches are an inaccurate description and admitted for the 1st time that he’s unhappy by the club’s call not to offer him a contract extension after he was widely credited — most particularly by Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki — for changing the team’s defensive culture after 3 first-round exits in the previous four years. NFL betting lines
Chandler maintains that staying in Dallas has often been his first choice, but he expressed dissatisfaction the communication between the sides was nominal from the end of the NBA Finals in mid-June and the June 30 cut off point for extensions. On Wednesday, when teams and agents were allowed to commence free-agent negotiations, NBA front office sources listed New Jersey, Golden State, Houston and Toronto as the groups chasing Chandler toughest.
The Mavericks have likewise long insisted that bringing Chandler back is their No. One offseason priority and they were unwilling to speak about an extension before July One because no one knew how drastic changes to the NBA’s collective negotiating agreement would be at that point.
But sources with knowledge of club’s thinking have said this month that management does fear that attempting to match the offers Chandler gets on the markets — whether or not Dallas ‘ other free agents , such as Caron Butler and J.J. Barea are all let go — will only leave them with approximately $5-to-$6 million in salary-cap space in the summer of 2012.
That is when the Mavericks had been hoping to be under the cap for the first time in the Mark Cuban era to join the independent agent bidding for Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Dallas-area local Deron Williams.
As one of the league’s oldest teams and with Nowitzki as its lone certifiable All-Star, Dallas knows it has got to begin looking to the future by trying to find a younger cornerstone player — like Williams — who can help the 33-year-old transition to more of a co-starring role. The Mavs ‘ enormous quandary Nevertheless, is that the presence of Nowitzki on the check-list in July 2012 without Chandler as his frontcourt buddy would possibly not be enough to tempt the league’s top independent agents.
One source close to Williams, for instance, says it’s improbable the New Jersey Nets ‘ point guard would consider signing with the Mavericks unless he was joining both Nowitzki and Chandler. The Mavs, though , privately worry that, with Nowitzki and Chandler on the books, they won’t have enough funds to compete for Williams or Howard outright and would be made to rely on taking one of those stars thru a complicated sign-and-trade arrangement.
Chandler, for his part, asserts he is hoping to know where his home will be shortly, although the league pronounced Tuesday that groups and players can’t strike written or verbal agreements before the officially prepared start of free agency on Dec. Nine.
“I would like this to be settled by early next week,” Chandler expounded. “I need to be in camp with my new colleagues as quickly as possible.”
Cuban could not be immediately reached to respond to Chandler’s comments. Earlier Wednesday, Cuban told Jeff Caplan: “We are going through and digesting all of the new rules and waiting on others. Once everything is in place we’ll have a way better concept on what we can and can’t do. In the meanwhile, we certainly will be chatting to everyone’s agent.”
Chandler, 29, was acquired by the Mavericks in July 2010 in an agreement with the Charlotte Bobcats co-headlined by Erick Dampier, but he was generally billed at the time as a consolation prize after Dampier’s cap-friendly contract failed to get Dallas in the bidding for the league’s marquee independent agents — Miami stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among them — through numerous sign-and-trade offers.
Yet Chandler wound up meshing with Nowitzki better than any person expected, supplying length, athleticism, rim protection and a kind of vocal leadership that no giant man who formerly lined up next to the eventual NBA Finals MVP had ever provided in Dallas.
Chandler wound up playing in 74 regular season games — after missing just about Seventy games over the previous 2 seasons thru injury — and finished third in the league’s Defensive Player of the Year voting. In the Western Conference finals, Chandler helped Dallas to a 4-1 series win over the same Oklahoma City Thunder team that traded for him in Feb 2009 and then rescinded the trade a day later because of fears about a toe injury.