Even the most optimistic Dallas Mavericks fan would admit that they have basically zero chance of making it past the first round of this season's NBA playoffs, so the team should begin tanking immediately to ensure they keep their 2016 first round draft pick.
In this past off-season, the Mavericks began to re-jig their starting lineup that was so comprehensively beaten 4-1 by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2015 playoffs in another attempt to build a title-worthy side.
Dallas allowed three of their five starters to leave. Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo all left the Mavericks as owner Mark Cuban looked to rebuild the team around Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki.
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To do so, Cuban, with the help of Parsons, put all of his effort into trying to sign Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan as the third main player who could help the Mavs create their new title-challenging side.
All looked to be going smoothly as Jordan agreed to sign with the Mavericks and Cuban began putting a plan in motion to sign another free agent in Wesley Matthews.
Matthews agreed to a deal and suddenly Dallas were in pole position to make the playoffs once again and have a team that could be able to compete with other western conference playoff sides.
However, in an instant, all of Cuban's hard work in recruiting Jordan was thrown up in the air when he begun to have second thoughts on leaving LA just a couple of days before free agency officially started.
The following story that ensued blew up twitter overnight with an emoji war between the teams, as the entire Clippers team flew to DeAndre's house in Texas to convince him to renege on the deal and re-join them in LA (all of the details of which were soon broken down by Grantland's Zach Lowe).
Jordan's u-turn left Dallas right back where they had started, although with the added bonus of Wesley Matthews. But here is the problem; if Dallas can't compete for a championship there is no reason for them to play well this season.
Focus on the future
Dallas' first round draft pick is top-seven protected, and this current year would be the best time possible to use it.
Wesley Matthews is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, which he has appeared to rush back from to start this season, and Chandler Parsons required knee surgery over the summer, which has him on a 15-minute restriction per game so far this season.
If the Mavericks decided to tank for their draft pick and sat Parsons and Matthews for the rest of the season, they could go through complete recuperation periods to be ready to come back next season alongside Nowitzki and the hopefully a good young player out of the draft.
The Mavs could also sit Nowitzki who, at age 37, cannot be wasting playing time on the court for a team who will not be challengers.
There is next to no possibility that Dirk would ever ask for a trade from the franchise he has represented for his whole NBA career, to a contender so they wouldn't have to worry about that.
Dallas are surprisingly 4-4 to start the season, which may make the decision more difficult, compared to if they were 1-7 at this stage, when the decision would be far easier.
They are just one win away from the playoffs, however, that is unlikely to stay the same for too long, and continuing to play just for mediocrity will waste the season for the Mavs.
It may be an example of hitting the reset button, which would be difficult for Cuban to accept only four years after winning an NBA title, even though there have been many changes during that time, but for just one season, it may be necessary for long-term success.