Who would win the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery if it is rigged?

Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023 NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 16, and it is one of the most important nights in Dallas Mavericks history. Just one year removed from the conference finals, Luka Doncic and company collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs entirely. Dallas desperately needs to improve their roster around their 24-year-old superstar or he could be the next one to request a trade.

The Mavs have limited assets to work with in improving their roster, which makes keeping their 2023 lottery pick even more important. Dallas owes the pick to the New York Knicks from the Kristaps Porzingis trade with a top-ten protection. The Mavericks finished with the tenth-worst record, so slipping even one spot in the lottery means the selection heads to the Big Apple. Dallas has a 79.8 percent chance to keep the pick, but it will be a nervous night.

There is always talk of the NBA Draft Lottery being fixed, and conspiracy theorists point to several instances since the event started in 1985. If it was rigged, who would win this year? Do the Dallas Mavericks have a chance? Here is a closer look.

Is the NBA Draft Lottery fixed?

The conspiracy theories go back to the first one in 1985. That year, the Knicks won the lottery with the third-worst record, but the drawing itself drew all the criticism. There are theories of a frozen or damaged envelope to get Patrick Ewing to New York, but it does not stop there.

There are theories about the lottery being rigged in 1993, 2003, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2019. They are all laid out here for fans looking to dive deeper, but perhaps the best evidence lies in 2016 when Hall of Famer Dikemebe Mutombo tweeted congratulations to the Sixers on winning the lottery at 4:36 p.m. when the drawing was still hours away. Did Mutombo know Philadelphia had won before it was supposed to happen?

Ten out of 38 years is significant, but there is no real evidence that the lottery is rigged. What if it was, though? Who would win in 2023?