Mark Cuban’s silence at the trade deadline was a sure sign of the coming times. The NBA is changing the way they do business. Let’s discuss.
Gone are the days of large trades that include bundles of “future 1st round draft picks” and young developing players. The economics just don’t work that way anymore. In the past, Cuban could simply erase a mistake by taking on more money or trading players away.
The financial landscape always made that a viable option. The new collective bargaining agreement ensured a change in that financial landscape. Now the Mavericks and most of the other teams in the NBA are holding on dearly to commodities that were once thrown around like a hot potato.
1st round draft picks are impossible to pull away from teams now. Mark Cuban once said, he didn’t care about trading away his 1st round draft pick because he could always buy one for “$3 million or so”.
In today’s NBA, draft picks are how you build a team if you can’t draw big free agents. Case in point, see the Portland Trailblazers.
They traded veteran players away and drafted young players with lots of talent. Here is the kicker though. They actually let these young players on the court for long stretches of playing time.
The same goes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They used multiple 1st round draft picks over several years and gave those players the ability to develop on the court.
Let’s bring this back to the Mavericks. They did nothing at the trade line because nobody wants their old players and because they have no commodities that other teams want such draft picks or young cheap talent.
I do not know if the Mavericks will ever be in a position to have those commodities in abundance because that is not how Mark Cuban wants to manage this team as long as Dirk is here.
Dirk only has another year or two left. Cuban will honor that an try to bring in above average players to prop up Dirk for that time.
For now, the Mavericks are stuck with what they have. That is not a terrible thing, it’s just not championship level. They are 9 games over .500 and they are competing. The next threshold is to get 15 games over and to stay there.
So it begins another Friday.
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