This could be looked at from all sort of point of views, from the Mavs fan-base who pay money to go watch the games at the arena obviously this irritates you since you have invested your own money to watch the Mavericks compete but for basketball reasons the Mavericks would be right to tank the rest of the way. I mean let’s face it the Jazz,Lakers,Clippers are all vying for the 8th spot and
the Pelicans,Blazers, and Nuggets are doing all they can to not lose footing in the playoff standings. I expect all 6 of those teams to give it their all to get into the playoffs and the Mavericks just don’t have a good enough team to off-set any of those teams the rest of the way.
As is the Mavericks have the 3rd worst record in the NBA and will likely be a lock to pick top 5 in what should be a very strong draft which might boast 6-8 franchise players(Ayton,Bamba,Porter Jr,Doncic,Young,Bagley,Jackson Jr,Wendell). You can even make a case Michigan State forward Miles Bridges might be a future cornerstone with his surreal athleticism and improved perimeter shooting, Mikal Bridges,Kevin Knox, and Collin Sexton are dark-horses who might not have the superstar potential the 7 players I previously mentioned possessed but who knows Paul George,Kawhi Leonard, and Klay Thompson were picked outside the top 10 in their respective drafts and are elite players right now so we will have to wait and see.
The Mavericks have their point guard in Dennis Smith Jr and small forward in Harrison Barnes who both figure to be around for the long-haul. Wesley Matthews at shooting guard is solid, his name came up in trade rumors since he is more in the midst of his prime right now and at 31 does not really fit in with the Mavericks future plans. Dirk Nowitzki re-signed and is likely retiring after next season, he seems to not mind sticking around through this rebuilding process and would serve as a great mentor for a big like Marvin Bagley,DeAndre Ayton, or Mohammed Bamba who could become superstars if they let Dirk Nowitzki take them under the wing.
Dwight Powell has not taken much of a leap and Nerlens Noel is likely a lock to bolt this summer, he turned down a 4 year contract from the Mavs and took a qualifying offer believing he was worth more then the Mavericks offered. So far Noel has been a disappearing act this season and has failed to receive any playing time from Ric Carlisle, the rest of the way should be an audition for Noel to boost his stock and hopefully land a contract elsewhere this coming summer.
I believe if you are Mark Cuban you’re best bet is drafting a power forward or center, this draft boast several who can develop into all-stars in Jaren Jackson Jr,Mohammed Bamba,Marvin Bagley, and Wendell Carter Jr who with some mentoring from Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki who is the best perimeter shooting big the NBA has ever seen can add an element to their game which might help accelerate their development and the Mavericks’s rebuilding process all at once. If I am Mark Cuban I draft Marvin Bagley, the kid has been dominant at Duke and should be in his senior year in high-school right now, that speaks volumes to how good he is being able to play at the college level as a first option on offense in Duke’s star studded roster.
Marvin Bagley possesses potential as a stretch big man, his perimeter shooting is certainly not great but not bad at all either, he can make the 15 foot jumper and has shown the ability to make 3 point shots. He can push the ball up the floor and serve as a play-maker off the post or on a fast-break, that figures to help the Mavericks since Dennis Smith Jr is more of a score first guard. Harrison Barnes is not known as much of a play-maker but has developed into a go to scoring option instead of just the 3 and d wing he was on the Golden State Warriors. Marvin Bagley is a phenomenal passer off the post and has a high motor on both ends of the floor, he also has a great nose for the ball and is a really good offensive and defensive rebounder. I could only imagine how good he can become with a solid perimeter game, he is not your regular back to the basket big, Marvin Bagley can take defenders off the dribble and can push the ball up the floor like a guard, did I mention he is a lefty also? Scary.
To conclude I understand the Mavericks fan-base, no one wants to see a professional NBA team just look forward to losing but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and accept fate for the better. If this was a guard-driven draft I would not approve of tanking but the Mavericks need a cornerstone big in the paint since Dirk is on his last legs and can no longer carry the Mavericks to the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki has been a class act his whole career for the Mavericks, it’s funny how Mark Cuban criticized Russell Westbrook for not being a superstar level player and I am sure he did his homework before drafting Dennis Smith Jr. Dennis Smith Jr in a couple years might be the best point guard in the game, Harrison Barnes might never become a superstar but he is certainly a piece you want around since he is a former NBA Champion and he possesses everything you need from a starting small-forward. I believe bringing in Marvin Bagley is the answer for the Mavericks, the sky is the limit for that kid and he wants to be great.