Dallas Mavericks receive punishment in tanking investigation

Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks decided to tank their final two games of the regular season with the hopes of keeping their first-round draft pick. It started with a game against the Bulls where the loser was likely to finish with the tenth-worst record. Dallas had an outside shot at reaching the Play-In Tournament, but they decided to try to keep their pick instead. The Mavs rested several players and only allowed Luka Doncic to play just over one quarter on a night that fans from Slovenia came to Dallas to watch the superstar. They lost the game and rested even more players in their season finale.

The NBA opened an investigation into the Mavericks' actions. Clearly, Dallas was not trying to win, but several other teams did similar things this season to improve their draft position. The Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and Indiana Pacers are among them. Still, it was the Mavericks that were investigated in part because of head coach Jason Kidd’s comments before and after their loss to Chicago.

The NBA wrapped up their investigation and handed down a penalty to the Mavs for “conduct detrimental to the league” on Friday afternoon. See the results below.

Dallas Mavericks receive punishment in tanking investigation

The Mavs were fined $750,000 for their actions. The leagued deemed that restricting players from participating with a postseason berth still on the line coupled with the team’s comments harmed the league.

Owner Mark Cuban was fined $600,000 in 2018 for admitting the team was tanking. It resulted in them trading up to draft Luka Doncic, so the Mavericks owner is probably not that mad about it.

Losing their final two games did not guarantee that the Mavericks will keep their first-round pick. They owe it to the Knicks if it falls 11th through 14th after the lottery, which leaves Dallas with a 79.8 percent chance of keeping the selection. May 16 will be a massive night for the franchise as they need that selection to significantly improve their roster this summer.

With the tanking investigation behind them, the Dallas Mavericks will shift their focus to the offseason. It is one of the biggest in franchise history, and there is much work to be done. Can they re-sign Kyrie Irving in free agency? How can the front office improve the roster around Luka Doncic? There are plenty of questions to answer, so stay tuned for all the latest.

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