Mavericks owner Mark Cuban backtracks after originally saying he was 'not a fan' of in-season tournament

·2-min read

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has some thoughts on NBA's reported in-season tournament.

After a video circulated Friday where Cuban said he wasn't a fan of the mid-season series and would even consider benching their best players, he later clarified and told The New York Times' Mark Stein that those comments were "old" and that he was "actually open" to the idea.

Here is the original video:

The details of the proposed tournament are still being worked out, but the Athletic's Shams Charania reported on Friday that games would run through November and that the top eight teams would advance to a single-elimination round in December while the remaining teams return to a regular season format. All teams would still end up only playing 82 games except for the final two teams, who would each play an extra game.

No prize or incentives have been reported yet, but some have speculated prize money for players as a possible option. This idea is very similar to the WNBA's Commissioner's Cup, which awards a $500,000 prize pool that includes a $30,000 bonus for each player on the winning team's roster. The Las Vegas Aces won the second-ever Cup this year.

While the tournament likely wouldn't be implemented until at least the 2023 season, Cuban reportedly already has an idea for what the prize would be for teams – and it wouldn't be cash bonuses for the players.

Instead, Stein reported that Cuban would want the league to expand the NBA draft from two rounds to four and that the winner of the in-season tournament would get the first pick of the third and fourth rounds and wouldn't be allowed to trade either pick. Any expansion of the draft would need to be collectively bargained, though, and the current CBA doesn't expire until after the 2023 season.

Mark Cuban is flip-flopping on the proposed NBA in-season tournament. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mark Cuban is flip-flopping on the proposed NBA in-season tournament. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)