What if it was actually a good thing we had this poor season?
Let's say Dirk didn't get injured at all, and we maybe get the 5th or 6th seed. That might have completely removed the urgency of needing to get a proper team (not one-year rentals) in place for next season and beyond, maybe even wasting an extra year or two of Dirk's remaining years in the process.
Last season, using pretty much the same strategy as this year, we managed to get the 7th seed. We still had Kidd and Terry around, so I guess that helped, but maybe simply making it into the playoffs, even at such a low seed, probably gave Cuban and Donnie enough reason to believe that all was well, that they could keep this up and satisfy the fans with 'playoff basketball' (although most likely for just one round) while waiting for that big free agent fish to come by. Also, it allowed them the convenient (yet not entirely untrue, I'll give them that) 'anything can happen in the playoffs' blowoff excuse/reason for only achieving the 7th seed, just one year after winning it all.
(I would also like to point out that our winning percentage last season would not have been enough to even make it into the playoffs during the championship year [we managed .545 last season; the Grizzlies snagged the 8th seed with .561 in 2010-2011], just to further emphasize that the current roster-building strategy simply isn't all that good. Of course, it was a lockout season and that throws the stats off somewhat, but I just wanted to point it out.)
With such a clear indication of FAILURE this year(although the team fought valiantly at the end, most people would just take a look at our results and roster and immediately go 'meh'), maybe this lights a red-hot fire under Cuban and Donnie to right this ship and do it in a hurry. Yeah, we finished at .500 and just a couple spots away from a playoff spot (and in fact more than good enough to make it in if we played in the East), but (maybe this is just me) it really FEELS like there's a HUGE difference between being in and out.
It's mainly a perception thing, but that could be all that's needed to get Cuban and Donnie into overdrive and putting out a better team out there, or at least not one with such obvious holes.
(P.S I don't have anything against Cuban and Donnie. I think Cuban's one of the best owners around and Donnie, while no genius, ain't no slouch either. I just hope the added urgency spurs them to make the smartest possible moves for the team this coming offseason, without thinking TOO far ahead [like when Kyrie Irving's unrestricted free agency is or whatever])