The always outspoken Mark Cuban recently asked a question that might have been on your mind too: “Should the Thunder throw in the towel and just tank this season?”
With their two marquee players Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sideline at least until mid-December, coupled with a ton of other injuries to their supporting cast, the Thunder could be in a deep hole come 2015. And in the ultra-competitive Western Conference, they might need a perfect second half of the season just to catch up.
So Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is wondering if the Thunder might be better off just tanking the season and getting a high lottery pick instead.
“The question I don’t think anybody has asked is, why don’t they pull a David Robinson and try to get Tim Duncan?” said Cuban, speaking before the Mavericks hosted the Miami Heat.
Cuban was referring to the 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs, a 20-win team that played a critical role in laying the foundation for the franchise’s five NBA championships.
Robinson played only six games that season, missing the start of the season with a back injury and sitting out the remainder after breaking his foot in late December.
As a result, the Spurs’ seven-year playoff streak was snapped, giving them a lottery ticket that turned into the No. 1 overall pick in Duncan. The Spurs won their first title two seasons later.
“We already specialize in a race to the bottom,” Cuban said. “More participants won’t change anything. They’re all high-profile participants.”
Informed of Cuban’s comments later on, OKC Coach Scott Brooks said his team would keep competing. He also pointed out that the Thunder tanking meant it would be easier for the Dallas Mavericks to make the playoffs this season.
The Thunder are currently 2-5 after beating the Sacramento Kings (5-2) earlier today.