16 times in the Draft Lottery. 16 times that the Mavericks have moved back in odds.
The Basketball God’s just haven’t been on our side when it comes to the lotto, but that’s okay in the grand scheme of things, especially knowing that Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are on the roster.
But, where do the Mavs go from here? How does losing their pick change their offseason plans and how does the lottery results effect the league as a whole? Dylan Duell and I take a deep dive into the Mavs direction this summer.
1. First reactions to the final results of the lottery?
Duell: I’d say the first year of the revamped lottery odds created a level of chaos the league probably wanted. Seeing multiple teams jump up five or six spots was pretty electrifying. Even though the Lakers moving up into the top four was a bit deflating, seeing them land fourth felt good and then the other mega-market Knicks settling for third was chuckle-worthy. I’m not sure if this type of movement will stop teams from blatantly tanking, the Grizzlies were seemingly historically awful the latter half of the season and still only landed in a tie for the seventh-best odds, but it was definitely entertaining television.
Mulford: It was exhilarating. The new odds created what was complete chaos and fantastic television. As the picks dwindled down, seeing that both the Knicks and Lakers landed a spot in the top 4 was quite ironic followed by them both sitting at the 3rd and 4th pick was pure comedy. Being that both New Orleans and Memphis had the same exact record and lottery odds as the Mavericks and both moved up into the top 2 as well as being in the same division as Dallas was a little gut-wrenching, but overall, a fun, updated version of the lottery. The only question now with both the Knicks and Lakers landing in the top 4 is what are the packages they offer to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis because you know David Griffin’s phone is about to start receiving calls from New York and Los Angeles area codes.
2. Gut reaction to them giving up the pick?
Duell: It would have been an all-time great moment if the Mavericks jumped all the way to the #1 pick. It would have made the next six weeks super interesting if they landed in the 2-4 range and we got to speculate on who they’d take or what star they’d look to get in exchange for the pick. However, landing tenth and formally closing the Luka/Trae Young trade gives the team some nice clarity in mid-May and a better ability to just focus on the more realistic possibilities for building their team this summer. Plus they’re now able to confirm the years they will be conveying the two first rounders they’re sending to the Knicks because of the Kristaps Porzingis deal.
Mulford: It was certainly a bummer at first but expected. Being that the Mavericks have absolutely zero luck when it comes to the lottery in their franchise history, it wasn’t anything to be upset about. Of course, Dallas could have added a nice, young prospect alongside Luka and KP, if not Zion, but they still have plenty of routes to take when July 1st rolls around. And quite honestly, knowing that the pick conveyed to Atlanta ended up being the 10th pick makes Mavs fans feel even better about making the deal last summer for Luka. All and all, the Mavericks walk away from last night with more clarity on who they need to target in the offseason and Dylan is right, on the future first round picks that will be sent to New York from the KP deal.
3. How does this affect their approach in free agency?
Duell: It’s helpful to know that they won’t be landing a starter-quality player for the start of next season from this year’s draft. Their biggest needs at center and a starting-quality shooting/defending backcourt mate for Doncic will still remain heading into free agency. I find it highly unlikely with the assets they have/are willing to part with, that they’ll find themselves in the first round at all even with an early second round pick to put in a trade. Overall, Tuesday night’s lottery results just confirmed what the team needs to do this offseason. No super-exciting surprise in the form of Zion Williamson to walk through the door and instantly plug multiple needs.
Mulford: At the end of the day, I don’t see last night truly changing their plans for this offseason much. The Mavs, like any other team, have a need for more wings who can both shoot and defend. Landing in the 3-4 range would have certainly granted them options to draft a young player with those skill sets, but that shouldn’t change who they target in free agency. Zion may not be sporting a Mavericks uniform this coming season, but Dallas has cap space and I’d say for once in free agency, some hope and leverage to make some impactful signings.
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