Examining the 2023 doomsday scenario for the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks slide back in NBA Draft lottery to 11th and owe pick to Knicks

If the Mavs miss the playoffs, lottery night will be massive for the franchise. Dallas needs talent, and this is a loaded class with elite players at the top. Fans will dream of jumping up into the top four to get a game-changer next to Luka Doncic. Could the Mavericks leap to number one and get Victor Wembanyama? It will be possible.

In the worst-case scenario, their 77.5 percent chance of keeping their pick turns to zero as one of the team’s below them leaps into the top four and leaves the Mavericks empty-handed. They convey the 11th pick to the Knicks to complete the Kristaps Porzingis trade, and Dallas sits without a draft pick in 2023.

This hurts because the Mavs have limited avenues to acquire talent. If this pick heads to New York, Dallas will have two first-round picks to trade, but they will only have one if they keep the selection. Technically, the Mavericks could still trade two because they could move their 2023 first-rounder on draft night.

If Dallas re-signs Kyrie Irving, cap space will be eliminated. They will have the taxpayer mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception to add free agents. The Mavericks could dangle Josh Green or Jaden Hardy to sweeten a trade, but they need depth too.

It would be a gut punch to slip from 10th to 11th on lottery night, but things could get significantly worse for the Mavericks from there.