The Dallas Mavericks have one of the worst records in the league this season and are looking for ways to rebuild their roster for the future.
With veteran Dirk Nowitzki entering the final stages of his career, the Mavs know they must prepare for life without the big German and are hoping to do so by bringing in talented young players via the draft.
Point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who they selected with the ninth pick in the 2017 draft, has shown his exciting talent this year and could potentially be a cornerstone of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
With several top prospects set to enter the league again next season, the Mavs want to be among the teams with the best chance to land one of them.
That has led to owner Mark Cuban making an interesting admission about how the Mavericks should approach the remainder of the season.
Appearing in an episode of NBA legend Julius Erving’s ‘House Call with Dr. J’ podcast, Cuban openly admitted that they will look to tank for the rest of the campaign.
He calls tanking “brutal” but acknowledged that it’s the best thing for the franchise moving forward.
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but, like, 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 on the podcast.
“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.”
In May, Cuban said that Dallas looked to lose as many games as possible at the end of last season once they were eliminated from playoff contention.
They had the ninth worst record in the league and didn’t improve their draft position through the lottery and ended up with the number nine pick.
At 18-40, they have the third-worst record this year but are one of a number of teams who have less than 20 wins.
The team with the worst record after 82 games will have a 25 percent chance of securing the number one pick in the 2018 draft.
This will be the last campaign in which this is the case as the NBA has altered things slightly for the 2019 draft.
The three teams with the worst record will share a 14 percent chance at getting the number one pick, which is designed to decrease the incentive to lose games at the end of the year.