After his Dallas Mavericks landed two of this summer's most sought-after free agents, agreeing to terms on four-year deals with center DeAndre Jordan and shooting guard Wesley Matthews, owner Mark Cuban was so thrilled that he couldn't wait to share his excitement with the world.
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In addition to spreading the news via his preferred private messaging app, Cubes spoke out about the deals on Dallas' 1310-AM The Ticket. Cuban described Jordan as "'Shaq-like,' but never having been given the opportunity," and said that the Mavericks told the 26-year-old center he's "capable of being a 20-20 guy" if given the chance. He also praised the Lone Star State's specific financial advantages — "The great state of Texas having no income tax contributed to both of these signings" — and said that the Mavericks "wanted to get Wes, he was a target for us all summer."
All of this makes perfect sense. Whether adding Jordan and Matthews makes the Mavericks a team capable of building toward a title in the future or merely more interesting, I mean, after you lock down two of your top priorities, why wouldn't you want to talk about how happy you are? There's just one problem, though, and it stems from the rules governing NBA free agency, as laid out by ESPN.com's Marc Stein:
Teams and players are allowed to strike verbal agreements on new contracts during the league's annual moratorium period in early July while the league's salary cap and luxury tax figures are being calculated for the coming season, but team officials are not allowed to openly discuss those deals.
By openly discussing the deals for Matthews and Jordan, then, Cuban violated those rules. As a result, the NBA on Tuesday fined him $25,000. More from Stein:
Cuban addressed both signings via his Cyber Dust app and did multiple interviews last Friday after Jordan verbally agreed to join the Mavericks on a four-year max deal worth in excess of $80 million.
It's the first known fine Cuban has incurred from new NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Sources, however, say Cuban previously was fined $25,000 for a tweet about the lack of calls for Monta Ellis in March. The tweet later was deleted.
I'd say Cuban should've shared his Monta thoughts on CyberDust instead of Twitter to avoid the paper trail, but evidently, the NBA'll fine you even if your digital thought disappear in a puff of binary-coded smoke. (Or if, y'know, you also share them over the airwaves.)
It seems pretty dumb that league rules restrict team officials from commenting publicly about deals that everyone else in the NBA-watching world is talking about for the entire first week and a half of July. That said, $25,000 isn't much of a fine for an owner who racked up an estimated $2 million under the reign of David Stern; there's a decent chance there's that much lost in the cushions of the seats on the private jet that Cuban and Mavericks forward/chief recruiter Chandler Parsons took to fly back to Los Angeles for Jordan's free-agent decision after landing Matthews.
Parsons relived the experience of learning DeAndre had chosen the Mavs in an interview with ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon:
"I hear this scream in the backyard. It's Cuban, walking inside with his hands up like, 'We got him!'" Parsons said. "It was unbelievable, man. I was so hyped. I was so excited because he really is a franchise-changing type of player. They don't come around very often."
We're guessing Cuban enjoyed the feeling of summertime victory far more than he feels the pain of paying a fine for sharing it.
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