What Now?


“No, man. I’m pretty far from OK.; And What now? Let me tell you ‘What now.” – Marsellus Wallace

Marcellus_WallaceVing Rhames’ character in Pulp Fiction pretty much summed up how Mark Cuban probably feels these days.

The late about-face defection of DeAndre Jordan stings and will continue to sting for a while. But the reality is, the Mavericks have a roster to fill. Time to move on.

Where do Cuban and the Mavericks go from here? Well, honestly, they don’t have many options.

They may have already given the best indication when they upped the money in Wes Matthews’ contract to a max deal of 4-years, $70 million. They’re not just going to tank the season.

Cuban really needed to make one phone call on what to do next – an international call to Germany to talk with the face of the franchise (who, by the way, has a movie coming out today about him on iTunes and in select Dallas theatres).

Which way does Dirk want to go?

Does Dirk want to stay in Dallas and fight through a rebuild? Or would he rather go play two more seasons elsewhere in search of a possible second ring? He has a championship, and a beautiful family that includes two young children. Dirk and his wife love living in Dallas. I honestly can’t see him wanting to be anywhere else.

Forging ahead the best the Mavericks can is the answer.

So, since Dirk is the key to that direction, we now switch our focus to the most important player on the roster.

Chandler Parsons.

The most vital thing to keep the Mavericks from falling off the edge of the cliff, long-term? Keep Parsons on board with the direction of the team. He has an opt-out clause in his contract next summer. If he bolts, it may be another long decade for this team. OK, maybe not the 90’s Mavericks, but the next few seasons are gunna be tough to swallow.

This team probably won’t make the playoffs next season in a very tough Western Conference. And more bad news – the Mavericks owe the Celtics their first round pick next June as part of the Rajon Rondo deal. Ah, but there’s good news – not if it’s in the top seven picks of the draft.

It will be.

So how do you keep Parsons willing to stay? Keep him involved in every move you make, both right now and next summer. He’s already proved his worth as a recruiter; even though Jordan did not sign in Dallas, he made the full commitment to, and a huge portion of credit goes to Parsons for that.

You want to keep Parsons? Basically make him an assistant GM. And I’m serious.

If the Mavericks want to start the road to recovery, they must begin to invest in their own draft picks, something they haven’t done much of in the Cuban era. It’s what has gotten the team in this position to begin with. It’s time to start building through the draft. A top-seven pick next June would help.

Look, there’s no getting around it – this is going to be a long season in DallaMarsellus-Wallaces. Blame Jordan and the Clippers all we want, but patience and shrewdness by Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Asst GM Parsons will need to be part of this.

Still, I wouldn’t mind if Cuban sent a couple of his henchmen to LA to go to work on the homes there with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. He might even send in The Wolf.

Marsellus Wallace would approve, that’s for sure.

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Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, MLB.com, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.