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Mark Cuban Says Mavericks Wouldn't Be Rebuilding in Eastern Conference

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08:  Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches his team take on the Chicago Bulls during a 2017 Summer League game at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 8, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dallas won 91-75. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said geography has essentially handcuffed the Mavs as they embark on a rebuild.

During Dallas' Las Vegas Summer League clash with the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Cuban said playing in the Western Conference has forced the franchise's hand, per ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon:

"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. However, the Mavs' outlook might not change much if they somehow swapped conferences.

While Dallas would have a better chance of reaching the playoffs in the East, the team 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 players.

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