Just because the Dallas Mavericks are focused on the NBA Finals doesn't mean planning for next season and beyond isn't underway. Six players on the current roster will be free agents after the season, including starters Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson and key reserve J.J. Barea.
"We've been through this before," general manager Donnie Nelson said. "You just plan. You know it's part of the deal when it comes. You just deal with it."
Indications from sources are the Mavericks want to at least bring back Chandler, Barea and injured forward Caron Butler. Brian Cardinal and Peja Stojakovic are the other two free agents.
The Mavs currently aren't in position to lock up any of the free agents. The threat of a lockout and the new collective bargaining agreement will certainly change the financial parameters of future contract negotiations. Much has to be sorted out before next season's roster is constructed.
"It's part of the landscape," Nelson said. "It's like living in a Texas and you know you have to deal with tornadoes. Ultimately, you plan."