After two long months of waiting, the draft finally arrived. The Mavericks were drafting in the top five, and I was ready. I recorded my thoughts, feelings and reactions throughout the day. Here is my Dallas Mavericks NBA Draft day diary.
I wake up and immediately check Twitter to make sure Mark Cuban didn’t trade the Mavericks’ pick while I slept. I don’t see anything crazy, so I assume Dallas is still in possession of the fifth pick. For now. I breathe a sigh of relief.
I resolve to not check Twitter constantly through the day.
I check Twitter for fifteen minutes hoping that the Mavericks have somehow figured out how to draft Luka Doncic, Mohamed Bamba, and trade for Kawhi Leonard while signing LeBron James as a free agent. Unsurprisingly, they have not.
I turn on Twitter notifications for Adrian Wojnarowski. He tweets exactly once in the next three hours.
The crowd boos when Adam Silver mentions the Golden State Warriors. It brings joy to my heart.
DeAndre Ayton is selected first by the Suns. Nothing weird yet.
Sacramento picked Marvin Bagley III…I’m starting to let myself believe. Maybe Luka Doncic is a possibility. Maybe.
Woj is reporting that the Hawks have agreed to pick Doncic and trade him to Dallas for Trae Young and a future pick. It’s contingent on Young making it to the fifth slot. A seed of hope has taken root in my heart. If Memphis ruins this for me, I’ll hate them forever. Chris Wallace will be my mortal enemy for ages to come.
Doncic was who I wanted all along in this draft. He was the best player in the second best league in the world. There are concerns about his athleticism, but doesn’t this usually go the other way? What I mean is, aren’t the spectacular athletes with raw skills the ones who most often fail? In basketball, I like skill over physical traits. Doncic will be fine. He’ll be great.
I’m so scared. The Grizzlies are going to mess this up. I know it.
Woj and Marc Stein are reporting Memphis is taking Jaren Jackson Jr. I won’t believe it until Silver calls it.
Jackson is officially on the Grizzlies. But I’m scarred by the DeAndre Jordan fiasco. I probably won’t believe this until Doncic is in a Mavericks uniform in October.
I’m starting to breathe again.
I hope Trae Young’s draft day outfit makes it to the hall of fame of bad draft day outfits. It annoys me that there will be pictures of him in that suit while wearing a Mavericks hat. Ugh. Oh well. Can we please just get Doncic in Mavs gear? Like immediately?
Silver announces the trade and makes it official. Luka Doncic is a Dallas Maverick. Things have not worked out very well for this franchise in about seven years. Just getting the guy they wanted feels like a win. It feels like a new start. Between Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr., it feels like the Mavericks have the start of something good.
Collin Sexton is picked by the Cavs and we have an Avery Johnson sighting. I love the Little General. I think Rick Carlisle is a better coach, but Johnson was amazing for the Mavericks for a few years. He took them to their first Finals, and because of that, he’ll always be special here.
Seriously. I need some sort of photographic evidence that Doncic is indeed a Maverick.
While cautiously scrolling through Twitter, I see my first picture of Doncic wearing a Mavs hat. My draft is complete. I am whole inside. Dirk will shepherd his Slovenian son into a new era of winning. All is well.
I am greedy and demand Marcin Gortat and the 15th pick from Washington. I don’t care what it takes. Besides Smith and Doncic. And Barnes. Of course, you can’t move Dirk. But that’s it. I think.
Michael Porter Jr. is still available, but I’m not interested. He’s got so many red flags, I just can’t imagine he’s worth the risk. Plus I think he needs the ball a lot, and so do Smith and Doncic. Not enough ball to go around. At this point I’d be happy to get that Wizards pick and get Lonnie Walker or Robert Williams. Maybe even Zhaire Smith.
I am not sure who the Clippers just picked. Who is Jerome Robinson? Look, I am by no means a draft or prospect expert, but I’ve been pretty deep into this stuff for the past month and this guy does not ring a bell. But Jerry West is smarter than me, so *shrug.*
The Nuggets picked Porter, and the Wizards are on the clock. I’ve seen nothing of a trade with the Mavericks. I won’t be too upset if they don’t move up here, but man, it’d be nice to get another top 20 pick. And Gortat.
The Wizards picked Troy Brown and my Gortat + 15th pick dream is dead.
Nothing has happened with the Mavs for a while and the wings I ate two hours ago are kicking in. Also I had something called a chicken snacker. That’s right. Chicken. Snacker. It’s a small hollowed out chicken breast with pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and pizza sauce. It was…okay. I don’t know. Nothing matters. Luka is a Maverick.
It’s pick 21 and Robert Williams is still available. I want the Mavericks to grab him. I’m not sure how the mechanics of this would work. I just want Williams. He reminds me of Draymond Green. He’ll catch tons of lobs in Carlisle’s system. Please, Mark. Donnie. Make it happen.
The Lakers just picked Mo Wagner and there’s a few people here at The Smoking Cuban who are disappointed. I’m not one of them, but I wouldn’t have minded him here in Dallas. The connection with Dirk would have been cool. Oh well. We still have Maxi Kleber.
Robert Williams is not going to be a Maverick. The Celtics picked him at 27 because Danny Ainge only cares about himself. Williams would have been so great here in Dallas. Just waiting on that 33rd pick at this point I guess.
So it would appear that Dallas is not trading back into the first round. I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I’m in a pretty forgiving mood after getting Doncic. The Mavericks can still get a good player at 33. Half the team is undrafted free agents at this point, so anyone in the early second round will be an improvement.
The Mavericks picked Jalen Brunson with the 33rd pick and I think I’m the only one here at The Smoking Cuban who loves the pick. Yes, everyone else is making a good point about the Mavericks already having plenty of point guards. I don’t care. Brunson is a winner who got better every year at Villanova. He’ll be the perfect backup for Smith. Yogi Ferrell is a free agent and J.J. Barea is destined to be trade filler. I want a hard reset on this team.
I want to go to bed, but I’m staying up for this last Mavericks pick. Let it be a good one.
The Mavericks just traded the 54th pick for the 56th and 60th. I’m good with this. Dallas needs an infusion of young talent. The more the better. Ray Spalding and Kostas Antetokounmpo are selected with these picks. I know nothing about them save that Kostas is Giannis’ brother. But they’re young players who can be developed into assets. I love it.
The final haul for the Mavericks is Doncic, Brunson, Spalding and Antetokounmpo. The draft is finally over, and with it, all the speculation. All the rumors and trade scenarios can be put away, at least draft-wise. Now it’s on to free agency. The Mavericks injected youth and talent into their roster. More importantly, they got the player they wanted.
I’m exhausted and want to sleep. But before I do, I’m going to go watch a 10-minute highlight reel of Luka Doncic.