Cuban: Losing Is Mavs’ ‘Best Option’ For Rest Of Season

With his team in a rebuilding phase, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has addressed the topic of tanking frequently during the last two seasons, and did so again during a recent appearance on Julius Erving’s House Call with Dr. J podcast. As detailed by The Dallas Morning News, Cuban admitted that he recently told the Mavs it would be in the team’s best long-term interest to keep piling up losses this season.

“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night and here we are, you know, we weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option,'” Cuban said. “[Commissioner] Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again, this was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that’s the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability.”

One of six teams with an NBA-low 18 wins so far this season, the Mavericks are out of the playoff hunt and are currently engaged in a race for lottery positioning. A brief hot streak during the season’s final two months could ultimately drop Dallas by several spots in this year’s draft and cost the club a chance at a franchise player, so it makes sense that Cuban would make the case for the merits of losing.

Still, the Mavericks owner has indicated in the past that the idea of tanking leaves a bad taste in his mouth. After declaring early in the 2016/17 season that the Mavs had no interest in tanking, Cuban admitted at season’s end that his club had tanked down the stretch, once it was clear the playoffs were out of reach.

After the Mavs got off to a 2-10 start this season, Cuban expressed a similar sentiment, adamantly insisting that they wouldn’t tank — at least until they were out of contention for the postseason. At 18-40, Dallas hasn’t technically been eliminated yet, but the team has no real chance to catch the eighth-seeded Pelicans (31-26). So, while the players themselves won’t try to lose, we should expect to see the Mavs playing their veterans less and their youngsters more in the coming weeks.

The NBA will implement changes to the draft lottery in 2019 that will reduce the odds of the league’s three worst teams landing a top-three pick. In the new format, the NBA’s worst team will have a 14% chance to land the No. 1 pick, while the sixth-worst team will have a 9% chance. Under the current format, those odds are 25% and 6.3% respectively, so it will be interesting to see how that impacts the race to the bottom for the Mavs and the NBA’s other cellar-dwellers this spring.

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15 thoughts on “Cuban: Losing Is Mavs’ ‘Best Option’ For Rest Of Season

    • Dionis

      Yea well they aren’t making the playoffs with this roster so whats the motive of winning games with this loaded draft which might boast 6-7 franchise players? They need to go after Bagley period.

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  1. Dionis

    Let’s be realistic Demarcus Cousins,Lebron James, and Paul George are not walking through that door so the best idea is to tank. As far as roster fits Bagley,Jaren,Bamba, or Doncic would be the best fits. If they can slot Bagley at the 4 it gives them a nice trio to build with in Smith Jr,Barnes, and Bagley. They desperately need a 4 or 5 who can be that 3rd cornerstone after Barnes and Smith Jr. Bagley is the answer.

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    • dust44

      Barnes isn’t a building block. He’s a solid role player. Not a star building block. Smith Jr is the only hope they have as a future star. But that’s better then a few teams in the league have right now

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      • Dionis

        Role player? Are you serious? The dude is a go to option on the offensive end and has developed his 1 on 1 skills, he is no longer a 3 and D wing like he was in Golden State.

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          • Dionis

            No one is depending on Dirk to carry anything, at this point Dirk is around to mentor the young players and who ever they bring in this summer. Dirk would be amazing for a young big like Bagley,Ayton,Bamba,Wendell, or Jaren. The Mavericks core going forward is Smith Jr,Barnes, and who ever they draft this summer.

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    • hiflew

      What he said was far worse than what Magic Johnson said about Giannis. Whether you agree with what he said or not, is immaterial. It is still bad for the integrity of the game to say so publicly.

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  2. Z-A

    Fact is he tried to get FAs in the door, DJ basically threw a bag of poo lit on fire in his face.

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  3. Itrainsontuesday

    Is this the same Mark Cuban who went after the Sixers for doing the same thing? Hypocrite.

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    • PeeWeeHerron618

      Man I swear it’s funny how teams was destroying my 6ers for this now the tables have turned

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  4. taquinas16

    Cuban is okay with the Mavs tanking, but crucified the Sixers when they did the same thing. Hypocrite.

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