Count Mark Cuban among the owners that hate tanking (Dallas was one of the teams that voted to reform the lottery rules last week, reforms that did not have the votes to pass).
But would he have the Mavericks ever tank?
Well, it depends. In the right situation, maybe, he told the Dallas Morning News in a Q&A.
On NBA teams tanking to get a higher draft pick
Mark Cuban: I don’t see it as a good strategy. I don’t feel comfortable with it. I think there’s other ways to do it. Now, if nobody was doing it, then I would probably do it. But when six, seven or eight teams are doing it, I think it’s a horrible strategy. If lots of teams are trying to race to the bottom to get the best draft pick, I’m not taking that strategy.
Did you ever call out an owner for tanking?
Mark Cuban: I tell you why I wouldn’t call them out. I want as many teams as possible to tank. I got no problem with it, but overall I don’t think it’s great for the league.
Cuban’s a smart business man, he knows that when everyone else is trying to go one way, you go the other direction. If nobody is tanking, it can be a good strategy.
Also, you have to love the vintage Cuban “I hate this but would do it if it was best for my team.” Cuban blew up a team that just won the title because he thought it was the best move long-term with a new, stricter cap coming in (a questionable strategy, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win).
If you want to know why the Oklahoma City Thunder had success with the being bad to get good plan, they had a few things going for them — smart drafting, luck in the lottery — but part of it nobody else was tanking.
Right now, the Sixers get all the publicity but there are a lot of teams trying to be bad to get high picks — Orlando, the Bucks didn’t plan on it but fell into it — and that makes it harder. The Sixers tried to tank and ended up with the third pick (which makes you wonder why the need for lottery reform right now). It just hasn’t deterred them from doing it again.