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Cuban: Mavs better off without Howard

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 18 2013 04:21:51 PM CDT
Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Dallas Mavericks outspoken owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com that Dwight Howard's decision to sign elsewhere is better for his team overall, since it allowed the Mavs to sign multiple free agents.

"I think we're in a better spot than we were at if we got just the one max-out deal," Cuban said Wednesday night from the Mavs' summer league game. "I think it'd be better shorter and longer term. I don't want to make that sound the wrong way. I think we'll be better this year because we added five good players or more."

Dallas is coming off a 41-41 record in 2012-13 that ended to a run of 12 straight playoff appearances.

Howard met with the Mavs and four other teams, but signed with the Houston Rockets. Dallas would have had to clear salary-cap space to afford Howard's four-year, $87.6 million contract, meaning they would likely have traded Shawn Marion or Vince Carter.

"Obviously we didn't get Dwight," Cuban told ESPNDallas.com. "We took a chance, and it didn't happen. I think we put together a really good team. It sticks within the culture we've tried to define. We've dealt with some of the weaknesses we had from last year. Hopefully if we stay healthy, good things will happen."

Sans Howard, Dallas has secured point guard Jose Calderon, guard Monta Ellis, shooting guard Wayne Ellington and center Samuel Dalembert. The team is also reportedly close to finalizing deals with guard Devin Harris and center/forward Brandan Wright, who are part of Cuban's stated two-year plan to rebuild the Mavs for another title run.

"Obviously, we were disappointed we didn't get Dwight, but we pretty much got everything else we wanted to get and then some," Cuban said. "Much more. We never thought we'd be able to get Monta. It turned into a good summer. Now, the key is to get everybody playing together, get everyone healthy, keep them healthy and go."

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