Heading into Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery, the Dallas Mavericks were one of six teams to have never actually won the first overall pick. The trend continued as they landed the No. 10 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Luckily, they didn’t fall out of the top-10. Had they done so, the pick would’ve went to the New York Knicks.
Dallas sacrificed the final two games of their season, and a chance to compete in the playoffs, in order to have a shot at Victor Wembanyama, the top prospect in this year’s draft class. In the Mavs’ April 7 meeting with the Chicago Bulls, they rested the majority of their rotation, aside from Luka Doncic, who played in the first quarter.
Head coach Jason Kidd had told the media prior to tip, that the decision had come from the front office, as they believed it’d be best for the organization moving forward.
“We were fighting for our lives, and understanding this is a situation we’re in, but the organization has made the decision to change,” Kidd said via the “Dallas Morning News’” Brad Townsend. “So, you know, we have to go by that and that’s something that happens. So the guys that are playing, we got to go out there and put our best foot forward, and we talked about that this afternoon… And the guys that are playing are gonna go out and try to play to win. You gotta be pros. You can’t cheat the game.”
NBA Fines Mavericks for Tanking Final Two Games
Once the Mavs went on to successfully tank their final two games, the NBA launched an investigation into the decision to purposefully lose and decided to fine Dallas $750,000.
The league shared a statement on April 14 regarding its decision.
“The NBA announced today that the Dallas Mavericks organization has been fined $750,000 for conduct detrimental to the league in an elimination game against the Chicago Bulls on April 7,” the statement read. “The Mavericks violated the league’s player resting policy and demonstrated through actions and public statements the organization’s desire to lose the game in order to improve the chances of keeping its first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. The league did not find that the players who participated in the game were not playing to win.”
Mock Draft Sees Mavericks Select Gradey Dick with 10th Pick
Prior to the lottery, CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone released his mock draft for this year. Boone pinned the Mavs suitors for University of Kansas standout Gradey Dick with their projected No. 10 overall pick, which they had an 80% chance of keeping.
“Tall wings who have the ability to shoot it — and do so successfully in the multitude of ways Dick can shoot it — don’t come around every draft,” Boone wrote. “His game is tailor-made for an NBA role player with room to grow into more.”
Dick spent one year with the Jayhawks. He started in all 36 games and played 32.7 minutes each time. He averaged 14.1 points on 44.2% shooting from the field and 40.3% shooting from distance (on 5.7 three-point attempts per game). Plus, Dick filled the stat sheet in other categories, averaging 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per contest.