Cuban to CBS Sports Radio: Tanking happens but isn't effective
Mavericks owner talks why Dirk will never be traded, tanking, and the future of the Mavs.
On Adam Silver denying tanking exists in the NBA:
"No one thinks it doesn't exist, it's just a question of whether or not it's effective. And when so many teams tank in one conference, it's not effective."
Cuban went on to explain that in the Eastern Conference, tanking actually becomes difficult on account of there being so many teams all trying to tank at once. With so many teams planning on tanking from the beginning, plus teams who weren't trying to winding up there (Milwaukee), it creates a competitive tanking environment, basically.
On the Mavs trying to get better long-term while also fielding a competitive product:
"We're trying to do it both ways. Free agency, trying to be smart when we draft, and trying to be smart when we add players. I just didn't think we'd be able to get bad enough to get that first pick. I also didn't know if it was worth it."
He explained that the Mavericks are trying something similar to what Houston and Daryl Morey did for years (my comparison, not his). Adding quality players on short-term contracts who he can trade if he needs to while keeping money open long-term or free agency. It's not a bad approach, but the result is this Mavericks team; good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough to contend.
He also noted how even if you get the first lotto spot, as Milwaukee is currently on track to have for June's draft, there's a 75 percent chance you won't get the No. 1 pick.
On if the Mavericks would ever trade Dirk Nowitzki:
"Never going to happen. One reason is that culture is a critical component to any successful team. There are teams with less talent than us making the playoffs. There are teams with more talent than us who aren't making the playoffs."
He explained Dirk's leadership, character, and ability set a tone for the franchise, and he's right on the money. And unlike some big-name aging stars, Nowitzki was willing to take a paycut to allow the Mavericks more chances at contention.
His thoughts on if Phil Jackson can make it work with Carmelo Anthony in New York:
"I can't talk about specific players, but Phil's awful smart. But part two to that is, they're really stuck from a cap perspective. They can use things like the stretch provision to let people go. There are a lot of tricks they can use in the new CBA to add some players. I don't know. One thing to remember is that Phil let Shaq go. There have only been two players he hasn't been willing to let go of, Michael and Kobe. So who knows."
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