Mark Cuban Explained Why A Draft Pick Prize May Cause Some Teams To Tank A Midseason Tournament

The NBA seems to be moving forward with their midseason tournament idea, as they seek out ways to liven up the middle of the long regular season.

The proposal, as recently laid out by Marc Stein of the New York Times, would entice teams with a $15 million prize to be split among players, a $1.5 million bonus for coaching staffs, and the possibility of earning an extra first round draft pick by the winning team.

The prize money for players is to incentivize them to play hard, as a draft pick prize would do the opposite if that was all that was at stake for them. However, that draft pick might not be the best carrot to get team executives to want to put their best foot forward in such a tournament, either, as Mark Cuban laid out on Twitter.

It’s an interesting perspective and one I don’t think too many folks thought about. There are a number of teams (namely the very best ones) that don’t value a first round draft pick and would want to get rid of it. As such, the teams that would be most interested in such a tournament would be teams at the bottom — filled with young players that make less and would want that $1 million prize more than say, a team with a couple max stars.

As Cuban goes on to say, he can’t hate an in-season tournament any more, and he hopes the plan falls through. The league’s efforts to spice up the regular season are understandable, but so far the response from players has either been a shrug of the shoulders or saying they’re not interested and now you add a prominent owner to the list of dissenters. We might know more about the plans by All-Star 2020, but expect a pretty strong push back from those opposed to such a change. As Cuban laid out, there might be more teams against it than initially thought once they really begin thinking about all that it will entail.

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