The Dallas Mavericks are in freefall. They have lost ten of their last 13 to sink to 11th in the Western Conference. Dallas is not even in the Play-In Tournament just one year after reaching the conference finals. Trading for Kyrie Irving has not worked as the Mavs are just 4-11 in his first 15 games playing next to Luka Doncic.
The Mavs are clinging to a slim postseason hope. They are one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final Play-In berth, but OKC holds the tiebreaker. Dallas is effectively two games behind with just three to play, and they have a difficult decision to make before Wednesday’s game against the Kings.
Shams Charania reported that the Mavericks are rumored to be considering shutting down Doncic and Irving for the rest of the season. Here is a look at the rumor, and why it makes sense for the Mavs.
Dallas Mavericks rumors: Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving could be shut down for the rest of the season
The Mavs' hopes of reaching the Play-In Tournament stand at 24 percent, according to Basketball-Reference. That does not sound bad, but the numbers get considerably worse. Dallas has just a 5.8 percent chance of winning two straight games in the Play-In and qualifying for the playoffs. Their odds of winning the conference sit at just 0.3 percent. The Mavs are all but eliminated, even if they make the Play-In Tournament.
They owe the Knicks their first-round pick to complete the Kristaps Porzingis trade unless it lands in the top ten after the lottery. With the standings so jumbled, Dallas may be better off losing and keeping their draft choice. The Mavericks need assets, talent, and depth. Having a top-ten pick would give them a boost in all three areas.
The Mavs currently have a 79.8 percent chance of keeping their pick. Those odds only go up if Dallas sinks lower in the standings. They have a 13.9 percent of moving into the top four in the lottery, which is far greater than their 5.8 percent chance of making the playoffs.
The Dallas Mavericks would be wise to shut down Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in an attempt to keep their 2023 first-round pick. It is the franchise’s chance to add another young talent to their roster or use the asset in a trade to improve their roster. Dallas needs all the help they get this summer and a lottery pick is not a bad place to start.