No team had a more disastrous season than the Dallas Mavericks. The defending Western Conference Finalists came into the season with high expectations of a possible NBA Championship. With a superstar like Luka Dončić, anything was possible.
And, for much of the season, those goals seemed attainable. They never played great basketball, but they were solidly in the Western Conference playoff picture, and the West is wide open this year.
But, the team traded for Kyrie Irving in the beginning of February in an ill-fated trade that nobody thought would work out. And, it didn’t as the team went from the 4th seed in the Western Conference at the time of the trade, to out of the playoff or play-in spots completely.
And, everything came to a head on Friday night. The Mavericks were still in contention for the final play-in spot, with the team needing to win their last two games while the Oklahoma City Thunder needed to lose against the Memphis Grizzlies in their final contest on Sunday.
But, to complicate things, the Mavs owe their first-round pick to the New York Knicks if it does not fall in the top ten of the upcoming NBA Draft. They’re on the cusp of having either the 10th or 11th best lottery odds, so falling to the 10th best odds would make it likely they get to keep their pick in what is considered a pretty good draft.
And, they decided to straight-up tank Friday night, sitting a bunch of players completely and holding Luka Doncic to just one quarter.
Kyrie Irving (right foot injury recovery), Josh Green (rest), Tim Hardaway Jr. (left ankle soreness), Maxi Kleber (right hamstring injury recovery) and Christian Wood (rest) will all miss tonight’s game against the Bulls.
— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) April 7, 2023
I’ve got to admit, not even trying to make up an injury for Christian Wood is pretty funny.
But, people were ticked off, considering they easily could have made the playoffs. And, the NBA wasn’t impressed. They are now launching an investigation.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass: "The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks’ roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night’s Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivations behind those actions.”
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 8, 2023
As a Knicks fan, I think they should automatically award the Knicks the pick. In fact, I think they should automatically award the Knicks the first overall pick. Victor Wembanyama, here we come.