Mavs Donuts: Tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery Primer

Mavs Donuts: Tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery Primer ... The Who, What, When, Where, Why ... And How The Dallas Mavericks Are Hoping They Fare ...


All season long, much like their opponents at the top of the standings, the NBA’s bottom-feeders fight for the NBA’s worst record, and a chance to hold the most ping-pong balls at the end of the season. For some teams, like our Dallas Mavericks, the realization of a lottery pick comes a little bit too late, and they find themselves sitting farther back in the odds than we’d like. Luckily, every team has a chance (though it may not be a great one) to end up at the top and draft a franchise changing talent. 

Image result for nba lottery

With the big night fast approaching, we here at are here to help you prepare, and bring you up to speed on what MFFL’s can expect on Lottery night. 


When: Tonight, 7 p.m. DFW time, on ESPN

Where: The Lottery will once again be held in New York City


Who: The Mavericks will be represented by former franchise great and front office assistant Michael Finley.

What about Donnie Nelson? As Fish brings you the scoop here … Donnie is in Europe on a scouting tour … and we even name three pinpointed names .. click here!


The Mavs History in the Lottery: Since the weighted lottery system came into existence in 1990, the Mavs have made eight selections in the annual process. 

1991: Doug Smith - Missouri (6th overall pick)

1992: Jim Jackson - Ohio State (4th overall pick) 

1993: Jamal Mashburn - Kentucky(4th overall pick)

1994: Jason Kidd - California (2nd overall pick) 

1995: Cherokee Parks - Duke (12th overall pick) 

1996: Samaki Walker- Louisville (9th overall pick) 

1998: Robert “Tractor” Trailer - Michigan (6th overall pick *Traded for Dirk Nowitzki*)

2013: Kelly Olynyk - Gonzaga (13th overall pick *Traded to the Boston Celtics for Lucas Noguiera and two future second-round picks*)


The Mavs Odds: With the ninth overall spot in the lottery, Dallas currently sits with with a 1.7-percent chance at the No.1 overall pick, and a 6.1-percent chance at a top three pick. Only twice since the modern lottery system began has the ninth place team finished with the top overall pick, in 2008 when the Chicago Bulls selected Derrick Rose, and in 2014 when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins.  There is an 81% chance that Dallas sticks at nine.  There is also a slight chance that Dallas slides to 10 or 11 or 12 ...  but we refuse to spend much time even thinking about those sad scenarios!


The History of the ninth Overall Picks: Despite conjecture to the contrary, the ninth overall pick has produced a great number of exceptional basketball players over the years. 

1981: Rolando Blackman - Kansas State (Dallas) 

1983: Dale Ellis - Tennessee (Dallas) 

1984: Otis Thorpe - Providence (Kansas City *Now Sacramento*) 

1985: Charles Oakley - Virginia Union (Cleveland) 

1991: Stacey Augmon - UNLV (Atlanta) 

1997: Tracy McGrady - Mount Zion Academy (HS) (Toronto) 

1998: Dirk Nowitzki - Germany (Milwaukee *Traded to Dallas*)

1999: Shawn Marion - UNLV (Phoenix) 

2002: Amare Stoudemire - Cypress Creek HS (Phoenix) 

2004: Andre Iguodala - Arizona (Philadelphia) 

2007: Joakim Noah - Florida (Chicago) 

2009: Demar DeRozan - USC (Toronto) 

2010: Gordon Hayward - Butler (Utah) 

2011: Kemba Walker - UCONN (Charlotte) 

2012: Andre Drummond - UCONN (Detroit) 

Read more about The History of 9 here.


Who will the Mavs Target at No. 9?:  The latest Mock Drafts have the Mavs going in a couple of different directions, including prospects at point guard. While mock drafts are often unreliable (especially in the NBA due to the lottery process dictating the final draft order after most of these mocks are released), odds are that Dallas will indeed stand pat at nine when the lottery is announced. 

There are prospects that the Mavs are higher on than others at this draft position, including Euro prospect Frank Ntilikina, and rising Kentucky prospect De’Aaron Fox. We know that Ntilikina is Donnie’s guy (or is at least “among’’ Donnie’s guys) … and unfortunately, Fox’s stock may have elevated him out of the Mavs reach. 

You can read my opinion on Dennis Smith Jr. also being an interesting possibility here, though some, including our own Mike Fisher, have noted that the Mavs may not be as high on him as others are from an overall scheme/personality fit standpoint.

Also, the Lauri Markkanen idea is interesting, but just doesn't make sense to us from a need standpoint here. 

In the end, Dallas would be wise to make sure the kid’s “fit’’ is about personality and talent, though, not about position. It just so happens, luckily, that the Mavs’ need at point guard mirrors this draft’s deepest position.


"It's deep. It's 13 or 14 deep with guys that are going to legitimately help teams; not only teams that are bad but teams that are good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s a good year to be in the top-10. We'll take advantage of it. There's a lot of work to do between now and draft night."


So who are the ‘experts’ picking?: Assuming the Mavericks stay in the ninth spot, Yahoo’s The Vertical and ESPN both have Dallas selecting Ntilikina, while CBS Sports has them selecting Markkanen, and Draft Express is saying it will be Dennis Smith Jr.. However, if Dallas manages to sneak up the draft order, a great many other possibilities could become available to them. 

A cautionary note here, when picking and choosing the info from the “experts’’: It’s not enough for them to know the players; the mocks based on talent are not helpful. The best way to know how to mock the Mavs is … to know what the Mavs are thinking.

This is why Fish’s story on Mark Cuban and LaVar Ball is the sort of thing that matters. The rest of the country is wondering if Ball will hurt his son Lonzo’s chances; readers already have the answer from inside the Mavs organization.


It’s been written that it’s a done deal: Dallas won’t trade the pick.

But that’s impossible to know at this moment. Why? Because we don’t know what another team might offer, we don’t know how cheaply a veteran might be had, and we don’t even know where Dallas is picking.

We’re all in a hurry for info. But … Let the horse go before the cart here.


No matter what direction Dallas decides to take after their draft position has been determined, Tuesday’s lottery and June’s draft are primed to be one of the most important in the history of the Mavs franchise.

Luckily for them, this draft is one of the deepest in recent memory, and any number of prospects should be able to come in and make an impact. Markelle Fultz (likely No. 1 on Dallas’ board) is the topper.

On a less “lucky’’ note: Dallas doesn’t have the cap room to do gigantic things in free agency, and you plan on being good enough, soon, to not have to be in the lottery again for quite some time.

But for the future to unfold right, this pick needs to be right. So that future starts tonight.


"It's great. This is the kind of pressure you want, an opportunity. And we know it's big. We haven't been even in the mid-first round very much. Justin Anderson was No. 21, not technically even in the middle first-round. And now you're No. 9 at the present time. This is great. There should be reason for great optimism. There's always a chance you can get lucky and move into the top-three on the night of the draft lottery. We'll keep our fingers crossed there. But again, it's not like some other years where you have two or three good players and the rest of them you're just not sure; you can kinda just throw them all in a bucket and just pick one. This is very deep." - Rick Carlisle.

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