Mark Cuban's goal is to make the Dallas Mavericks a championship team again within a two-year window.

After Dallas missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years, the owner vowed the Mavs would have a "quick rebuild." The pending pitch to free agents this summer -- including Chris Paul and Dwight Howard -- is that the franchise can take a significant step forward next season and then have the salary-cap space available again in 2014 to make more major upgrades.

"We want to be a championship team. We've never said we have to be a championship team this year," Cuban said Saturday on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM during his first interview since the Mavs' season ended. "We want to be a better team, a top-seed team. If we get the top free agent, that doesn't leave us a whole lot of flexibility to add a lot of players, but we have a good nucleus around them. We know we'll have a good team, but we won't know if we have a great team.

"If you look at this like a two-year plan, then we think we're on a track to have a great team by the end of next year."

The Mavs are trying to return to the heights they experienced with their championship in 2011. Cuban opted against offering long-term deals to Tyson Chandler and other key pieces of that team because he feared having an aging, declining squad with extremely limited options to improve under the new, more restrictive collective bargaining agreement.

It's a path Cuban said he would choose again "in a heartbeat" despite the Mavs' struggles the past two seasons. The pressure is on Cuban and president of basketball Donnie Nelson this summer to take advantage of the financial flexibility created by their controversial decisions.

The Mavs attempted to sign point guard Deron Williams last season, although Cuban opted to film episodes of "Shark Tank" instead of participating in the face-to-face recruiting process, and later said he thought the franchise was better off without Williams. Cuban and longtime face of the franchise Dirk Nowitzki, who has declared his intention to re-sign next summer at a significantly reduced salary to ensure that the team will have ample cap space again, have both committed to spearhead the Mavs' recruiting efforts this summer.