For the first time in the last 13 years and only the second time in the Mark Cuban era, the Dallas Mavericks missed out on the postseason. San Antonio Spurs fans might not think much of the Mavs’ past success because they’re spoiled by their own streak of playoff appearances, but Dallas’ recent history is quite impressive.
Now, as a lottery team, the Mavericks are looking to “rebuild.” It seems a little silly to say that when they’re only a couple years removed from winning an NBA championship and still playing at a .500 level. However, Cuban says any team that finishes outside the playoff teams enters the rebuilding phase. Which is something all teams except one have gone through recently.
“When you’ve been in the league 15 years there’s not a single team other than maybe the [San Antonio] Spurs who hadn’t had to rebuild for a certain extent,” Cuban said. “Not one — whether they own a championship or not. We obviously didn’t have what we thought we would have, but we obviously could have had more. Maybe we’ll win the lottery and we’ll pull a Spurs and we’ll get the No. 1 pick.”
Of course Cuban can’t compliment the Spurs without throwing in a subtle jab at their luck to get Tim Duncan.
The Mavericks are in a tough spot where they probably won’t land a high enough draft pick to select someone who can be the new face of their franchise and adding a later first-round pick won’t turn them back into a contender. For a while, I’ve figured Mark Cuban had some sort of master plan that involved brining in any number of superstars to join Dirk Nowitzki, but as time passes, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Cuban hates to lose, so I’m sure he has something up his sleeve to get his team going again. With the way they played this year though, it’s going to take a lot to get them back to where they were two years ago.