Holdout Adrian Dantley, obtained from Detroit in a trade for Mark Aguirre, told Dallas Mavericks' owner Donald Carter Wednesday he would not join the team and was immediately put on the trade block by Carter.
Carter said he had instructed Rick Sund, vice president of basketball operations, to find another team who wanted the dissident Dantley in exchange for a first round draft choice."Adrian was not satisfied with the length of his contract," Carter said.
"We are unwilling to change any of the wording of the present contract."
Carter told Dantley that if the Mavs were unable to trade him for a first round draft choice in 1992, 1993 or 1994 by the NBA trading deadline (7 p.m. MST Thursday), the Mavs would place Dantley on the NBA's suspended list.
"All Adrian had to do was ask for a plane ticket to Denver (where the Mavs play the Nuggets Wednesday,)" Carter said. "I would have met him there and we would have gone forward and not looked back.
"We would have made adjustments in his contract at times when we felt we should. When A.D. didn't report, it took away that option. In life, when you enter into a contract you have to honor it."
Team officials worked with Dantley and his agent for four hours late Tuesday night trying to resolve the dispute. Dantley spoke privately to Mavericks owner Donald Carter twice during the session, a team spokesman said.
"We had a talk, it seemed to be a pretty good talk between the two of us," Dantley said in a statement released through the Mavericks. "We left the meeting and we're going to sleep on it. I'll call back in the morning."
The Mavericks had set a 9 a.m. MST deadline for Dantley to make a decision.
Because he failed to report to the team by that time, Dallas may continue to withhold his salary, suspend him, trade him or seek damages.
"I can't say whether I expect Adrian here or not," Mavericks coach John MacLeod told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after Tuesday night's negotiations. "At this point, we truly don't know."
Dantley reportedly wants deferred money at age 35 to be divided into the earlier years of his contract. That would increase his $1.25 million salary this season to an unknown sum. The 6-5 forward turns 32 Monday.
But Mavericks General Manager Norm Sonju has said that the amount of money the team has to work with is limited because they are up against the $7.2 million salary cap.