Can Mavericks take advantage of Victor Wembanyama hype?

Dallas Mavericks, Victor Wembanyama
Dallas Mavericks, Victor Wembanyama / Steve Marcus/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks should defeat rebuilding teams easier thanks to Victor Wembanyama hype

The Oklahoma City Thunder are not eager to win their three matchups against the Mavs this season. Sam Presti has amassed a massive stockpile of draft picks and kept his team at the bottom for the last two years in hopes of landing the top pick. He was close in 2022 and got Chet Holmgren with the second selection, but fans can be sure that his injury sealed OKC’s fate. They will be firmly in the race for Wembanyama, and the Thunder will not be the only ones.

The Utah Jazz tore things down now in part because of this potentially historic draft class. They traded two All-Stars, including Donovan Mitchell, to get near the bottom in the race for Wembanyama, so do not think they are trying to win any of their four matchups against the Mavericks this season.

Luka Doncic and company need to take care of business against the inferior competition this season. They play 21 games against the seven teams projected to be in the race for the bottom this season. If Dallas wins 19 of those 21 that will put them firmly in the mix for the top four in the Western Conference, and fans saw that homecourt advantage as they knocked out the Utah Jazz for their first playoff series since 2011 last season.

That is an impressive record to have over 21 games, but those rebuilding teams want to ensure they are bad to improve their chances at drafting Wembanyama, and what better way to do that than losing to contenders?