Mark Cuban’s NBA Proposal: What Works, What Doesn’t


After the recent report involving the return of the NHL, other major sports leagues are on the clock for their respective proposals to continue the 2019-20 season. With it, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has proposed his own individual plan to close out the current season.

Here, we look at what works and what doesn’t with Cuban’s proposal:

What Works

Prior to the beginning of the NBA Playoffs, Cuban suggests that all 30 teams would undergo a small number of regular season games in order to prepare players for competition.

This is a reasonable request, considering players have spent extensive time away from playing. This permits teams to get any ‘rust’ out of the way in hopes of creating a competitive environment. At this time, anywhere between 5-7 regular season games have been suggested.

What Doesn’t Work

Under his current proposal, 10 teams from each conference would qualify for a chance at the NBA Championship. From there, the teams would be re-seeded based on record. If the season were to end today, the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets would represent the East, while the Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans would be among the competition in the West.

While it doesn’t open up a purpose for teams to participate in regular season games, each of the four aforementioned teams is 20+ games behind the #1 seed. It dilutes the playoff picture in which the intention is for the best teams to play one another.

What Works

As part of the proposal, NBA games would take place at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This would allow the league to fulfill broadcasting contracts.

Once again, this seems to be a reasonable request. Teams will not permitted to travel to multiple venues, and likely decreases the chances of an individual receiving the Coronavirus.

What Doesn’t Work

With games taking place at a singular location, how often would teams be forced to play? How many games take place in a singular day? Previous reports suggested the NBA could take on a similar format as the Summer League, where games are ongoing throughout each day.

However, scheduling becomes a major challenge for the NBA with this proposal. At this time, no clear solution has been provided.

What Works

Under Cuban’s proposal, every team (aside from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors) could qualify for a spot in the playoffs. The increased level of immediate competition could generate entertaining games; especially with the low number of regular season games expected to take place.

What Doesn’t Work

In other proposals, disgruntled stars such as Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard may not risk playing if their teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Considering the Timberwolves and Warriors are eliminated from contention in Cuban’s proposal, why should Karl-Anthony Towns or Stephen Cury play? The benefit needs to outweigh the risk, but it’s understandable that Cuban and others are looking to create the most fair outcome.

What Works

Within the proposal, Cuban suggest two play-in matchups (either a single game or best-of-three) in which the #17 and #20 teams play one another, while the #18 and #19 compete. The winners of each matchup would advance to play against the #15 and #16-ranked teams. If the NBA expands its playoff picture to a similar fashion as the NHL, this seems to be an appropriate solution.

What Doesn’t Work

With the proposal, Cuban admits that it could throw away the value of the current season. In that sense, he’s correct. Is expanding the playoff picture, forcing teams to participate in games almost daily, and pressuring eliminated superstars to participate worth the risk?

Obviously, everyone wants to see the current NBA season resume. However, let’s create the best possible solution that creates the most entertaining and safe product available.

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