The Dallas Mavericks decided to attempt to keep their first-round pick over pushing for a spot in the Play-In Tournament by losing to the Chicago Bulls on April 7. Dallas owes their first-round pick to the Knicks if it falls 11 through 30 after the lottery from the original Kristaps Porzingis trade. They were tied with the Bulls for the tenth-worst record, and the Mavs needed to win their final two games and get help to qualify for the postseason. Dallas rested multiple players to make sure they lost.
The NBA is investigating the Mavericks for tanking as the franchise made a business decision. There are still no guarantees that they keep their pick. Dallas has a 79.8 percent chance to retain it, and a three percent shot at winning the lottery, which makes May 16 a massive night for the franchise.
Assuming the Mavs keep their selection, who should they be targeting in the top ten? They sit a 65.9 percent to finish tenth, so for this exercise, they did not move into the top four. Dallas is selecting tenth, and here are their best options to consider.
Prospect Dallas Mavericks should target in 2023 NBA Draft: 7. Taylor Hendricks, F, UCF
Hendricks continues to skyrocket up draft boards after his outstanding freshman season at Central Florida. The 6’9 forward was the 46th-ranked player coming out of high school, but his tools popped at the college level. His playmaking and shot creation are not strong, but the Mavericks do not need that with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on their roster.
Hendricks made 39.4 percent of his 155 NCAA 3-point attempts as he averaged 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. He has the looks of a 3-and-D forward at the next level, which is exactly what the Mavericks want next to their two superstars. The 19-year-old has the size and athletic ability to guard multiple positions, and that is precisely what the Mavs need.
Taylor Hendricks already declared for the draft, and he is a projected lottery selection. Nobody expected him to be taken in the top ten coming into the season, but the Dallas Mavericks should give him serious consideration after his impressive lone NCAA season.