Report: Cuban, Mavs Had Choice of Harrison Barnes or Chandler Parsons
Mark Cuban talked on The Afternoon Show on ESPN Radio about how they chose Harrison Barnes over Chandler Parsons in free agency.
The Dallas Mavericks went into the offseason with one plan and much like every year, changed that plan once free agency started.
Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, joined Tim Cowlishaw and Matt Mosley on The Afternoon Show (ESPN Radio 103.3) to talk the eventful summer, Barnes, Curry, and if they would be better next season.
Cuban answered extensively two questions surrounding free agency and Harrison Barnes that could be surprising to some. Most people viewed Barnes as a last-ditch option, but Cuban made it seem like they actively chose Barnes over Parsons in the free agency process.
Going a step farther, Cuban even mentions how Barnes reached out to Dallas about coming there first, but Dallas was hesitant because he was a restricted free agent.
The two questions went like this (as transcribed from The Dallas Morning News).
Cooperstein: Unfortunately the Plan A [in free agency] didn’t work out the way you had in mind, didn’t work out the way you hoped it would. Even you knew that it was going to be an uphill struggle to make it work. Yet again, you’ve been able to sort of cobble something together that looks just a little bit more than interesting.
Cuban: Yeah, you know I keep a whole trunk full of rabbits so I can put them in my hat. We got lucky. There’s not other way to say it. We knew we were long shots with both Hassan [Whiteside] and with Mike Conley. We knew Mike Conley wasn’t going to turn down the largest contract in NBA history. But we also know that it’s not just about the short-term, it’s the long-term.
We wanted to introduce the Mavericks, our style and our organization to both of them because you never know when they’re going to be available in a trade. You never know next free agency. So many things can happen over a period of time in an NBA.
Look what happened with D-Will [Deron Williams]. I think our presentation to him from coach and Donnie [Nelson] in particular really set the groundwork for him understanding who we are. On one hand, we didn’t expect to get them to come to the Mavs, but we still think it served a function.
From there Harrison [Barnes] reached out to me at 12:01 like, ‘Dude I want to come there. You’re my first pick, my only pick.’ I went back-and-forth with him like, ‘Yeah, we’d love you too but you’re a restricted free agent. Here’s our course of action. Here’s what we’re going to do.’ I laid it all out for him. He was like, ‘Okay, we’ll see what happens but you guys are my team.’ Fortunately it turned out the way it did.
The last paragraph here is huge and it will be interesting to see if Barnes will stand true to that exact story. The fact that Barnes reached out to Dallas first, shows the desire that Barnes truly had for Dallas, not just the last decent team standing with max cap space like most people viewed it.
So Dallas kind of had Barnes in their back pocket as they waited to see what Kevin Durant would do. So naturally, Mosley asked the question on why they basically chose Barnes over Parsons.
Mosley: Mark, why did you essentially pick Harrison Barnes over Chandler Parsons? Parsons ends up getting very similar, if not the same money, from Memphis. Y’all had a great relationship. I saw quotes recently [where] you said, ‘It continues to be a great relationship.’ Did it simply come down to the knee, the medical, as comparing Barnes to Parsons or do you just feel like maybe Barnes has more upside?
More from The Smoking Cuban
- Mavericks: Teammates look to collect debts after Luka Doncic’s extension
- Dallas Mavericks: What Tyson Chandler would bring as a coach
- Dallas Mavericks land Boban Marjanovic on two-year $7 million deal
- Dallas Mavericks struggle, show flashes in summer league loss to Sixers
- Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic signs massive 5-year extension
Cuban: Can’t go into any details, but I’ll just say it wasn’t a basketball issue. Chandler obviously is a very, very skilled player. There’s a lot of great things to his game. But he’s, in essence, a different player from Harrison. Harrison is longer, more athletic, younger. Just like Chandler really didn’t get a chance to have his game blossom when he was with the Rockets. He just showed glimpses of it because of Dwight [Howard] and James [Harden] being there. I think Harrison was kind of in the same role. I think we’re going to give Harrison the opportunity and I know he’s excited about the opportunity to really shine and be a featured guy for us.
So Cuban is admitting they (1) had a choice and (2) chose Barnes over Parsons over a non-basketball issue. If you want to try to connect the cards, a safe bet would be the concerns surrounding Parsons injury history.
Cuban did go on to say that Barnes was “longer, more athletic, and younger” than Parsons. Something that has been used by the pro-Barnes camp for a while now. Now, we all wait to see if he fulfills the potential that Cuban talked about.
You can read the full transcribed interview from The Dallas Morning News here.
If people thought the pressure on Barnes was big before, it only grows knowing that Dallas actively CHOSE Barnes over Parsons in free agency.