The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery was a stressful night for the Dallas Mavericks as they had a 79.8 percent chance of keeping their first-round pick.
It was a top-ten protected pick that Dallas couldn't afford to lose. If the Mavs landed anywhere after pick ten, it would have gone to the New York Knicks. Luckily, Dallas retained the pick and ended up at ten.
Mavs' fans took a big sigh of relief that night, but now the question is what will Dallas do with that pick?
Are the Dallas Mavericks sending smoke to draft Gradey Dick?
They could either trade the pick for a proven role player or roll the dice and draft a young talent that will need some development.
It is a tough choice as Dallas needs both things. But which is the bigger need? The answer to that question is unknown, and fans likely won't know until the night of the draft on June 22.
The first big draft news surrounding the Mavericks broke on May 30, and it gave fans an insight into what the Mavericks want to do with their 2023 first-round pick.
The Athletic's Tim Cato reported that Dallas is not interested (subscription required) in drafting Kansas wing Gradey Dick. They are looking to add "athleticism and physicality," and Dick isn't elite in either.
But is this news smoke?
Teams send smoke all the time during draft season to hide their tracks on what they truly want to do.
For example, pretend that Dallas is high on drafting Dick and thinks he will fall. One way they can help their odds of him being available at ten is by telling their sources they aren't interested in him.
This relieves pressure from teams below them as they won't feel the need to trade up for Dick since Dallas is reportedly uninterested in him.
Now pretend that Dallas truly isn't interested in Dick. They can send smoke by saying that he is their guy and they want to take him at ten. This forces a team below them in the draft order that wants him to trade up and give Dallas an asset along with their pick to draft Dick. There are many ways to send smoke before the draft, and the Mavs could be doing it in front of our eyes.
Dick also went on a pre-draft visit with the Mavericks last week. This came after the report that Dallas didn't want him and proved they aren't 100 percent out on taking him.
They are doing their due diligence on the wing and could be interested in taking him at ten, regardless of reports. He is arguably the best shooter in this year's draft and would fit phenomenally in Dallas if they can add some defensive stoppers in free agency.
Stay tuned to see what the Dallas Mavericks do in the draft and if they decide to draft Kansas star, Gradey Dick. They need an impact-now player, and fans will soon find out if they add him through the draft or by trading the pick. It will be a full summer of Mavs news, and we'll have you covered.