Mark Cuban has prepped for a golden opportunity to swing for the fences in free agency with Dwight Howard and Chris Paul freed up in the summer of 2013. Adding either player would mean a significant upgrade of the Dallas Mavericks roster. If that falls through, he has a plan to make Dallas viable within the next two years.

"We want to be a championship team. We've never said we have to be a championship team this year," Cuban said Saturday in an interview on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "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."

Cuban’s Mavericks missed the NBA playoffs for the first time in 12 years this past season, and that serves as motivation to improve the options around star Dirk Nowitzki, who pledged to re-sign at a discounted price to lure top talent.

The Mavericks are working to recover from the pitfalls of a numbers crunch following their 2011 NBA title. Allowing center Tyson Chandler to walk in free agency and sign with the New York Knicks proved a major setback for Dallas.

They’ve yet to recover from that decision, which was made with the intention of working to sign Howard and Deron Williams in free agency. Then, Howard opted into his final year with the Orlando Magic and was traded to Los Angeles, and Williams chose to return the Brooklyn Nets.

One problem Williams had with Dallas' pitch is that it came without Cuban on hand. Cuban was in Los Angeles to film the TV show “Shark Tank” at the time, and has maintained the Mavericks are better off without the Texas native at point guard.

"It's not like last year. We're going to go after [the major free agents]," Cuban said. "But it's not like we're not having all the intense conversations to figure out all of our alternatives.