The Dallas Mavericks made some tough decisions this season in order to free up some cap space for free agency. The Mavs said goodbye to some key players on their championship squad such as Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea. It’s been the worst kept secret in the NBA that Mark Cuban’s squad has been saving cap space in the hopes of landing Deron Williams or Dwight Howard. At this point Williams seems to be the target. The Mavs have made it pretty obvious they want him in the worst way. Dirk Nowitzki has been keeping his fingers crossed for D-Will all along. The Mavs power forward is naturally a little pessimistic, but believes his squad has a plan in place that gives them as good of a shot to land Williams as any other team. Only time will tell come midnight on July 1st. Dirk Nowitzki joined KTCK in Dallas with The Hardline to discuss LeBron James playing on another planet in the NBA postseason, being anxious to see the Dallas Mavericks free agency plans, his relationship with Deron Williams and his gut feeling on the Mavericks chances of landing Deron Williams in free agency.
Did it even matter to you who won the NBA Finals between Oklahoma City and Miami?
“I actually thought OKC might be the favorite with the way they played great throughout the Western Conference [playoffs]. They beat us. They beat the Lakers and then came back 2-0 against the Spurs and I thought they were going to be the favorite, but Miami they were so athletic on the perimeter they just took James Harden out of the way. They took Russell Westbrook away. They just played great defense and offensively like I mentioned LeBron James played from another planet. To average 30 [points] and 10 [rebounds] throughout the playoff run is unheard of. He was great. He carried them and when they were facing elimination in Game 6 in Boston the performance he put on is probably one of the best all-time playoff performances. He really carried them when they needed him and he was outstanding. OKC is going to be there a long time. If those boys stay together there is nobody over 18 I think, so they are going to be together for a long, long time. They are going to be scary in the future.”
Are you nervous at all for Sunday at midnight and what’s impending for the Mavericks?
“I mean nervous is maybe a bit much. I’m anxious obviously. We’d love to get D-Will [Deron Williams] in here. I think that is no secret. I think if you look at the league now, if you look at all the top teams, all of those guys have two or three playmakers that you can just hand the ball to and they do their thing. We just need to get better. I think we had some question marks going into the summer and we signed Rick Carlisle for four years, so I think we got that out of the way and now it’s time to get some players in here and get better. I always said we as the Mavericks organization: We are not happy with losing in the first round. We feel like we need to compete every year at the highest level and it is not good enough to just make the playoffs and lose in the first round. We’ll see what happens. We are fired up. First is the NBA Draft. I think the draft is deep enough this year. That is what everybody says where we may actually get someone else at No.17 that can contribute and play right away. Then it is time for free agency. I think Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have always done a good job finding stuff out of nowhere and making the team better and even if D-Will doesn’t work out I’m sure they got a Plan ‘B’ and Plan ‘C’, but we definitely gotta go back in the right direction and that is up.”
How well do you know Deron Williams? Do you know him at all?
“I know him. I competed with him at the All-Star Game. That’s really the only time you get to spend off the court with somebody in the locker room with those guys. When he played in Utah he was in the West, so I was in the same locker room [for the All-Star Game] a little bit and he’s good dude. He’s a competitor. To me he is one if the best point guards we have in this league. He’s athletic. He can shoot and get to the basket and pass, so he’s a great all around weapon. We’d love to have him run the show here and we’ll see what happens and see what he decides.”
How are you guys feeling about the possibility of Deron Williams becoming a Maverick? Are you guys feeling confident he will sign with Dallas next week?
“I mean what else is there? As a German I guess all Germans we always look at the negative things first, but I hope we have a good shot. I really do. I think he’s we all know he’s from here. His mom lives here. He likes it here. He loves golf. We have great golf courses and we have obviously a great organization. Great fans. A great owner that makes stuff happen all the time, so I really think we have as good of a shot as Brooklyn has, but I don’t know much more than anybody else either. It’s going to be a surprise and keep my fingers crossed and hopefully we can land him.”