2. Tanking worked but cannot repeat strategy
The Mavericks lost their final two games and admitting to it cost them $750,000. Owner Mark Cuban matched the fine with a charity donation of his own, but it was not the ideal outcome one year after Dallas was in the conference finals.
The front office felt like it was the right thing to do at the moment. They had clear holes on their roster and limited avenues to upgrade. Dallas desperately needed an asset and what better trade chip than a top-ten draft pick?
Fans were upset when it happened because the Mavericks still had a chance at reaching the Play-In Tournament, and as the Heat are proving, all they needed was a shot. The front office took a long-term view as they want to annual title contender around Luka Doncic, and it paid off.
The Dallas Mavericks kept the tenth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Fans dreamed of moving up and even hitting on that three percent chance of landing Victor Wembanyama. That did not happen. Keeping their pick was the second-best outcome. The Mavs avoided the disaster scenario of losing their pick and having nothing to show for losing their final two games.
With the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery in the rearview mirror, the Dallas Mavericks now have a difficult decision to make.