There is no easy answer to tanking in the NBA — if there was it would have been fixed already.
Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban went on the Dan Patrick Show Monday and said there may not be a way to fix it — franchises that are struggling sell their fans on hope, of striking it big in the lottery and that changing the team’s fortunes is a real hope. If you fix the incentives to tank but kill the idea of bad teams having hope then you have messed with their business model. And the NBA is a business first and foremost. Don’t ever forget that.
Cuban and Patrick also discuss the one-and-done rule nobody likes — Cuban again advocates for the D-League as a path — and some other NBA topics.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.