It didn’t take long for Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to get his locker room renovation underway.
Cuban knocked down the first locker on Thursday afternoon at American Airlines Center, giddily swinging a sledgehammer to begin the “demolition” process.
“Timber,” Cuban said, as the first locker fell.
The Mavericks intend to have a state-of-the-art locker room and facility that will be ready for the 2017-18 season. The project is expected to take about two months.
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Cuban said the organization met with Las Vegas casino builders to know how they keep customers energetic late at night. That includes using different lighting techniques and having more oxygen sent into the room.
Among the highlights of each individual locker: a backlit logo where the jersey hangs that glows either white or Maverick blue; tablet dock with integrated power built into the shelf; TV mounted behind a jersey; and a refrigerated cup holder for halftime and postgame drinks such as a Gatorade.
Cuban said the old lockers were built in a way when the AAC opened in 2001 that made it tough to preserve them.
The team, however, will make an exception to keep Dirk Nowitzki’s intact.
Trade rumors always circulate around draft time, and Mavericks shooting guard Wesley Matthews’ name was among those out there.
Matthews, 30, has two years left on his contract (2018 is a player option for $18.6 million) and is viewed by some as a dispensable piece for the Mavericks.
But general manager Donnie Nelson made it clear before the draft that the organization still values the 6-foot-5 Matthews, who averaged 13.5 points in 73 starts last season.
“We like Wesley right where he’s at,” Nelson said. “You never say never; that’s the business we’re in, but we’re going to try to add to this group.”
Retiring a Mav?
Another Maverick mentioned in the trade rumor mill was guard Devin Harris. Nelson made it clear that the Mavericks wanted to upgrade the point guard position in the draft with “star potential,” and Harris is a rotational piece.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t valuable. Harris, 34, is in his second stint with the Mavericks and has become a nice veteran presence in the locker room.
“Devin has been a Maverick forever. Obviously he started his career here and we’re hopeful that he’ll end his career here,” Nelson said. “He’s the kind of guy we want to get into the locker room, certainly a rotational piece that we value.
“Again you never say never in this business, but the idea is to get some really good young players to learn under our really solid leadership.”