Evaluating the Dallas Mavericks’ Lottery Competition
To the surprise of many (more like everyone outside of Dion Waiters), the Miami Heat went on a 13 game winning streak, thus taking them out of the running for a top pick in the draft at the moment.
If Miami does hold on to Goran Dragic past the trade deadline, they could be right in the hunt for one of the bottom playoff seeds in the East. But if they unload Dragic, they could drop like a rock in the standings.
The Wolves are one of the more disappointing teams in the league as many people had them competing for the playoffs before the season started.
Now the Wolves have a 22-35 record and sit with one of the worst records in the West. Loaded with young talent and goals of making the playoffs, Minny could head any direction in the second half of the season.
-New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans seem to be stuck in the same position every year, in the middle of the West standings with the intentions of pushing for the playoffs.
After circulating in trade rumors, the Pelicans are a team that could make a trade at the deadline to help push them towards the playoffs. At the moment, they are all in for a playoff push, but if they don’t land an improving trade, they have the potential to land in the top 10 on draft night.
There isn’t a team (besides maybe Miami) that has been in the mentioning for the top pick in the draft AND the playoffs this season besides the Dallas Mavericks.
Even though this vocal playoff push is their main goal, you never know when they could decide to mail in the season, especially if a couple of more injures hit.
They are still just as good of bet as any to land the eighth seed in the West, but they have the potential to tank it out if some bad luck comes their way soon.
Next: Should the Mavericks Keep Fishing in the D-League?
*Non-playoff teams at the moment I did not include in my list were the Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings. All indications are that these teams are going all in for the playoffs this season and I don’t see even a potential tank in any of them.