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Mark Cuban suggested that 20 teams should make the NBA Playoffs, which makes no sense

The last thing we need is more playoff teams.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revealed on CyberDust a proposal he made to other owners that would extend the playoff field to 10 teams per conference, according to Dallas Morning News reporter Brad Townsend.

The motivation behind the proposed change, according to Cuban, would be to discourage tanking and make sure all the good teams make the playoffs. The best teams from each conference would get a bye in the first round, while the bottom two teams would play a shortened five-game series. Cuban suggested it would give teams that suffer injuries a chance to salvage their season while keeping fans' attention in the league late in the year.

While any ideas to try to improve the league are welcomed, this one doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Cuban mentions conference imbalance and this would do nothing to address that issue. In fact if this proposal had been in effect last season, the Heat and Pacers would have made the postseason, making it four teams with a below .500 record in the East's playoff bracket.

How the change would prevent tanking is unclear. The teams that were in the playoff bubble in both the East and the West didn't get worse on purpose to try to bottom out, simply because it would have been really hard to drop in the standings enough to seriously improve their lottery odds. And there were teams that were bad early on, like the Jazz and Hornets, which made a push late. In fact, the race in both conferences lasted until the last day of the season. Tanking is a problem at the bottom of the standings, not among teams that nearly miss the playoffs, and it continues to be one with this proposal.

As for keeping the fans' attention, the bottom of the East's postseason bracket from last season proved that a close playoff race doesn't really excite the viewing public if the teams are mediocre at best and destined to be unceremoniously bounced by the higher seeds. Would a Heat-Pacers series have gotten good ratings when neither team really had a chance to advance further?

Giving a bye to the best team in the conference would also leave nine teams in the playoff field, which means the bottom four teams would have to play a shortened series for the idea to make practical sense in the first place.

There are simple ways to address the issues Cuban mentions. The best way to increase parity between conference remains to have the teams with the best 16 records making the playoffs. Watching good teams in the postseason would also increase the fans' attention. Fixing tanking is harder but it's not as big an issue as it's often made out to be.

There are problems the league needs to address but Cuban's proposal wouldn't actually accomplish anything. Well, except for giving his Mavericks a better shot at the playoffs.