<
>

Opening Tip: Cuban's 'law of unintended consequences'

NEW ORLEANS -- Mark Cuban kids about the Dallas Mavericks having a case to join the Eastern Conference, noting that the Dallas Cowboys play in the NFC East.

You can’t blame Cuban for daydreaming about changing conferences. Put the Mavs in the East and they’re a lock to have home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. In the West, they’ll probably have to fight to the finish just to earn a postseason berth.

But, as Cuban sees it, the conference imbalance isn’t all bad for the West teams.

“I think it’ll result in the law of unintended consequences,” Cuban said. “As unbalanced as it seems, worse teams will make the playoffs in the East, which means that hurts their draft position, which means better teams in the West will get better players in the draft since this is a good draft. So the law of unintended consequences comes into play.

“So many teams in the East weren’t really out there to be the best possible that they’ll win games against each other, have better records, get into the playoffs, which means they won’t be in the lottery, so it’ll end up hurting them.”

The upcoming draft, expected to be headlined by Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Marcus Smart, will be likely be the most hyped in a decade. It’s safe to assume that the loaded draft class influenced several moves that were made over the summer.

“I don’t even know who’s tanking or not tanking,” Cuban said. “But they only have two teams over .500 [in the East]. That says it all. Whether it’s intentional or not, that doesn’t really matter.”

It won’t pay off for all of those teams, either. The law of unintended consequences will come into play.