DALLAS -- Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, perhaps sick of hearing that the franchise made a mistake by not re-signing center Tyson Chandler, suggested that the big man wouldn't have made much of a difference for Dallas this season.
In Nelson's opinion, the Mavs still wouldn't have been good enough to get past the young, improved Oklahoma City squad that just dismissed the defending champions with a first-round sweep.
"There’s no fans bigger of Tyson Chandler than the guys in that locker room and the guys in the management staff," Nelson said. "We understand what he brings to the table. But we also would not have won that series had he been here. We might have won more games, we might have put ourselves in a better position, but there’s no question that they’re a better team.
"We’d be sitting here today and you guys would be telling me, ‘Man, you guys are all locked up with no place to go and no flexibility, blah, blah, blah.' So it’s just what it is."
Nelson's take is not a consensus opinion throughout the organization. Shawn Marion's eyebrows shot up above his designer shades when informed that Nelson didn't think Chandler could have made a difference in the series.
"He really just said that?" Marion asked. "Tyson does things out there a lot of guys don't do in this league. Even if he's not scoring all the time, but it's just his presence out there, his demeanor, it can carry to wins."
Could it have carried to four wins in a series over this season's Thunder? We'll never know, but the Mavs' front office doesn't think so.