“We’re rebuilding. Right? There’s no question about it. If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We’d be handling things completely different. I think I’m going to kidnap [Commissioner] Adam Silver and not let him out until he moves us to the Eastern Conference.
“Given where we are, given where the Warriors are and what’s happening in the Western Conference, it kind of sealed what we have to do.”
There’s no question the Western Conference is far stronger from top to bottom than the East. With that said, the Mavs‘ outlook may not change all that much were they to swap conferences.
Sure, Dallas would have a better chance of reaching the playoffs in the East, but the Mavericks would still be well off the level needed to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This offseason is a great illustration of the shadow LeBron James and the Cavaliers cast over the rest of conference.
The Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers both traded their best players, signaling their intention to start a full-scale rebuild. The Atlanta Hawks, meanwhile, sent Dwight Howard to the Charlotte Hornets and saw their best player, Paul Millsap, agree to sign with the Denver Nuggets, per The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
That’s three out of the eight Eastern Conference playoff teams from 2016-17 basically starting over from scratch after years of contending for the postseason.
The grass may look greener on the other side to Cuban, but the Mavericks’ best plan—regardless of their conference alignment—is focusing their efforts on developing first-round pick Dennis Smith Jr. and the rest of their young stars.
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