Mavericks Obtain 10th Pick in 2023 NBA Draft – What Are Their Options?

Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery had a few surprises in store for NBA fans across the globe. The San Antonio Spurs once again are in position to draft a generational big man. The Detroit Pistons fell to fifth in the draft despite having the best odds to get the first overall pick. The Portland Trail Blazers moved up to third overall in the draft, putting them in a position to make a franchise altering decision regarding their future. The Dallas Mavericks were also in a precarious position regarding their future.

Dallas was at risk of losing their draft pick to the New York Knicks, had it fell anywhere between 11- 14, as a result of the protections placed on the pick from the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Dallas also had a slight (13%) chance to move up into the top four of the lottery, including a 3% chance at the first overall pick. Alas, history repeated itself, as the Mavericks failed to move up in the lottery once again as Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announced the Dallas would be picking 10th in the upcoming draft.

Dallas has never moved up in the NBA Draft Lottery in the history of the franchise.

By retaining their 2023 first-round draft pick, the Mavericks face a difficult decision as draft day approaches. Let’s be clear: Dallas didn’t expect to be picking this high in the draft. A year after making the Western Conference Finals, Dallas expected to be fighting for a championship. Instead, a combination of poor play, injuries, questionable coaching decisions and an aging roster have the Mavericks looking to upgrade their team alongside superstar Luka Dončić and (potentially) Kyrie Irving.

As June 22nd arrives, GM Nico Harrison will be faced with essentially two different choices with the 10th pick as he looks to improve this roster. Firstly, there is a high likelihood that the Mavericks will look to package the pick, with potentially other assets, in a trade for a starting caliber player that can make an immediate impact. It seems as this is the route that most Dallas fans want the Mavericks to take as well.

In a poll conducted on Mavs Fans For Life, an overwhelming 62% of voters think the Mavericks should trade the pick. Dallas has contracts that can be attached with the pick to match salaries. Players such as Tim Hardaway Jr. ($17.8 million), Davis Bertans ($17 million) and Maxi Kleber ($11 million) could be added to a deal with the 10th pick in a trade. As with any trade, a lot of factors could play into what the Mavericks could get in return. Is there a player in the draft that slips to 10ththat another team has high on their board? What is the value of the Mavericks’ players that would be included in such a deal? How great of a fit is the player the Mavericks would acquire and would they help this team get closer to a title than someone in the draft?

Secondly, the Mavericks could stand pat with the 10th selection and draft a player that would add a needed skillset to the team and much-needed youth. Currently speaking, Dallas only has three players under the age of 31 on their roster (Luka Dončić, Josh Green and Jaden Hardy). An infusion of youth has been something Mavericks fan have been clamoring for, and Dallas shouldn’t expect to be picking in the top 10 of the draft any time again soon. This may be a golden opportunity for Dallas to add a player they can develop to become a fixture in the rotation. This ultimately will depend on how the draft falls. A brief history of the 10th pick in the draft yields some unfortunate results:

2022 – Johnny Davis (WAS)

2021 – Zaire Williams (MEM)

2020 – Jalen Smith (PHX)

2019 – Cam Reddish (ATL)

2018 – Mikal Bridges (PHI)

2017 – Zach Collins (SAC)

2016 – Thon Maker (MIL)

2015 – Justise Winslow (MIA)

2014 – Elfrid Payton (PHI)

2013 – CJ McCollum (POR)

Of this list, CJ McCollum and Mikal Bridges are the only two every day rotational players. Many of these players have changed teams and some are consistent “DNP’s” in the box scores (or out of the league). That’s not to say that good (or even star) players aren’t available at this pick. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Donovan Mitchell, Tyrese Haliburton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were all selected in the next few picks in previous drafts. Looking at last year’s draft, Jalen Williams, Jalen Duren, Mark Williams, A.J. Griffin and Tari Eason were selected in the 10-16 range and are destined for promising careers. Dallas’ scouting department will have to assess if there is a player that falls that could become the next “how did he drop” player. 

A look at seven current mock drafts shows the Mavericks predicted selections:

ESPN – Taylor Hendricks, PF (UCF)

The Ringer – Jarace Wallace, PF (Houston)

SB Nation – Anthony Black, G (Arkansas)

The Athletic – Derek Lively, C (Duke)

CBS Sports – Gradey Dick, SF (Kansas)

Bleacher Report – Gradey Dick, SF (Kansas)

HoopsHype – Taylor Hendricks, PF (UCF)

The Mavericks will do their due diligence on all of these prospects and more as draft day looms. Other names that could potentially be on Dallas’ radar include Cason Wallace of Kentucky, Leonard Miller of the G League, Kobe Bufkin of Michigan, Bilal Coulibaly of Metropolitans 92 (France) and Bobi Klintman of Wake Forest. Harrison and the front office must determine which player, if any, fits the Mavericks from a skillset perspective and how they can play with Dončić andIrving. Should Dallas heed to the “best player available” philosophy? Should they look at a frontcourt partner whose defense is solid but whose offensive game still needs tweaking? Is taking another guard even an option? 

With the 10th pick in the draft, Dallas has a major decision to make with respect to the roster construction of the team. Plenty of options will be available, from drafting a player at that spot, trading up or down, or trading the pick all together for a win-now player. Harrison and owner Mark Cuban have about two months to survey the landscape and determine the best course of action to get this team back to a championship level.

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