Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been pretty successful during his tenure as shot-caller in Big D, winning an NBA championship in 2011 and appearing in another Finals in 2006. Cuban is also a successful businessman and has even become a bit of a television star on the back of his reality tv show, Shark Tank. But it’s true that no matter how successful someone is, the misses always hit harder than the successful deals you’ve made. Admittedly, for Cuban, one of his most significant losses came last year when he traded away Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Cuban was asked about that transaction recently during a Q&A session with students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Student: “So, it’s been about a year since Seth Curry was traded away to the 76ers for Josh Richardson and Tyler Bey. As someone who’s in Philly now, I have to ask: looking back on this trade, how do you think it went and should the Mavs have kept Seth Curry.”
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Cuban: “I hate you. Next question.”
Cuban: “That answers your question. Yeah, we might rethink it if we had to do it all over again.”
Although Cuban was a good sport about the question regarding Curry, it’s easy to see that deal still bugs him to this day. Josh Richardson, who was the main piece in the deal for Curry, only played one season for the Mavs, averaging 12.1ppg while shooting under 43 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range. Richardson was then traded again to the Boston Celtics last offseason. On the other hand, Seth has become a vital part of the 76ers’ roster and is averaging 15.5ppg this season, shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from behind the arc.
I’m sure Cuban would give pretty much anything to take that trade back and still have Curry’s sharpshooting ability on his roster to help Luka Dončić carry some of the load. The Mavs are hanging tough and actually playing some defense now under new head coach Jason Kidd calling shots, but you can never have enough shooting in today’s NBA, and that’s what Curry represents. Cuban shipped off a prime shooter in a deal that felt like a throw-away at the time. Now Curry is having the best scoring season of his career, and he’s doing it in Philly, not Dallas.
While Curry isn’t on the level of big brother Steph (and likely never will be), he’s one of the top role players in the league, and every championship team needs that supporting cast around their superstar. Look at last year’s champions, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee added Jrue Holiday to a cast that included Khris Middleton, P.J. Tucker (now playing in Miami), Pat Connaughton, Brook Lopez, and Bobby Portis. This is a group of great role players but only one real shining star in Giannis. The Mavericks have one big star and need to surround him with the best talent possible as the Bucks have done for Giannis.
If the Mavs want to compete again anytime soon in the western conference, they can’t continue making these types of deals. Trading away Curry will haunt Cuban for as long as Seth continues playing in the association. And the way it looks right now, that’s going to be a long time.