This time was going to be different for Tyson Chandler. This time, the Dallas Mavericks weren’t going to shove him aside or make him a second-level priority when it came time to extend his contract. Mark Cuban even said he’d learned from his mistake after 2011, and wanted to keep Chandler in Dallas long-term. This time, Chandler was a Maverick for good.
Unfortunately, and rather predictably, this time was a lot like the last time. The Mavericks were committed to Chandler, until they started their pursuit of DeAndre Jordan. Chandler could read the writing on the wall, and bolted for Phoenix. Even though he’s happy in his new situation, he’s still a bit upset with how everything transpired. No one can really blame him for feeling that way, not even Mark Cuban, as Dallas’ owner told 103.3 FM ESPN:
“I didn’t think it would get to that point,” Cuban said of the 33-year-old Chandler’s departure from Dallas. “We actually tried to have discussions right at the start of the year about an extension and it kind of just died on the vine. His agent didn’t really take it anywhere, and I was the first to say ‘If you don’t want to take it right now, we’ll try to figure something out at the end of the year,’ because I realized that by waiting that gave Tyson an extra year.
“Then the opportunity for DeAndre came along and we were pretty straightforward. Tyson or his agent gave us the ultimatum before the decision was made. He said he wouldn’t wait. That’s his decision. It is what it is. He does have a right to be salty, because I really did suggest to him — and it’s exactly the way I thought — that he’d be here for a long time.”
It’s not as if Cuban necessarily lied to Chandler, but when Cuban suggested to Chandler that he’d have a long career as a Maverick, he probably didn’t think they’d have a chance at signing Jordan. It would have been foolish of Cuban not to pursue that opportunity, just as it would have been foolish for Chandler to wait on that situation to unfold before making his decision. Both sides had to make the choice that was right for them, even if that meant one side had to go back on his word.
In the end, Chandler got the better part of the deal anyways, as his Suns stand a much better chance of making the playoffs than Cuban’s Mavericks.