Over the past two years, tanking has appeared to be the route that the Dallas Mavericks have traveled. And, according to a quote that will eventually catch the ears of the league's front office (if it hasn't already), team owner Mark Cuban has indicated that's still the direction the team will go in for the forseeable future. Cuban made those comments on Julius Erving's show House Call With Dr. J, and he even revealed that he was transparent with the team about it over dinner.
"I’m probably not supposed to say this," he prefaced the plan with knowing the type of trouble such a statement could cause for him. "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.' 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 2017, Cuban also fessed up to tanking after the Mavs were eliminated from playoff contention.
He also indicated earlier this year that a similar plan would be implemented if the team couldn't turn around a dreadful 2-12 start, which—judging by their current 18-40 record— they have not.
As pointed out by The Dallas News, the worst team in the NBA will have a 25 percent chance of grabbing the top overall pick at this summer's draft. The second worst team will have a 19.9 percent chance. And the third worst team—which is where Dallas stands as of now—would have a 15.6 percent chance. Starting in 2019, the three teams with the worst records in the league will share a 14 percent chance of securing the No. 1 pick, a move put in place to prevent teams from tanking.