Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the franchise has agreed to hire Gersson Rosas as general manager.
The 35-year-old Rosas was previously the Houston Rockets' executive vice president of basketball operations, where his work with GM Daryl Morey speaks for itself. Few front offices have been so firmly linked to the growing "analytic" approach to roster building, and still fewer have successfully turned those rosters into potential contenders virtually overnight.
Whatever the Rockets have been doing, organizations like Dallas are clearly taking notice.
The Mavericks' premier free-agent targets have spurned them in two consecutive offseasons, balking at an opportunity to give Dirk Nowitzki's final NBA years some meaning. Deron Williams elected to instead re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, culminating in a bizarre back-and-forth with a potentially bitter Cuban.
A year later, Dwight Howard famously leaves L.A. for the Rockets, Andrew Bynum ends up in Cleveland, and the rest is history—the Mavericks included. Cuban is once again claiming Dallas is better off without a guy he was offering $90 million just a few weeks ago.
Foiled ambitions notwithstanding, there's still been plenty of turnover on this roster since Dallas' title in 2011.
You can blame that turnover on any number of things, from overzealous protection of cap space to overconfidence that space would attract someone better than Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon. Either way, the Mavs desperately need some direction—along with a steady influx of inexpensive, young talent.
Though impatient Mavericks fans shouldn't expect their free-agent fortunes to turn around immediately, Dallas has indeed taken an important first step toward avoiding lost summers down the road. And if Rosas is really good, he might have a trick up his sleeve for this summer too.
Short of working the trade market, Rosas won't make any big splashes until next summer, when Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter's contracts each expire. Dallas can re-sign Nowitzki at a discount while retaining the flexibility to pursue another elite free agent.
The way that's been going lately, don't get your hopes up. Then again, maybe Rosas can help. If he does, there are prizes to be had in 2014—ranging from oldies but goodies like Pau Gasol to elite stars like Carmelo Anthony, should he exercise an early termination option.
It's hard to imagine Dallas throwing big money at restricted free agents like DeMarcus Cousins or Paul George, if only because their teams will almost certainly match any offer. The Mavs could wind up taking a crafty approach, much like the Rockets. Houston first used trade assets to land James Harden, positioning itself as a first-tier free-agent destination.
If 2014 is to have more luck than its predecessors, a similar strategy may be in order for the Mavericks.