CHICAGO – All things considered, Tuesday night went well for the Dallas Mavericks during the NBA Draft Lottery.
Although they didn’t accomplish their ultimate goal of securing the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s NBA Draft, the Mavs did manage to hold onto their first-round draft selection. By virtue of finishing 10th in the Draft Lottery held at the McCormick Place, the Mavs avoided the dreaded possibility of losing their first-round pick to the New York Knicks.
“I’m glad, I’m excited about it,” Mavs general manager Nico Harrison said, referring to Dallas finishing with the 10th pick. “That’s where we were hoping for.
“Obviously there’s a three percent chance of (getting the top selection). But yeah, I’m excited.”
Harrison knows if the lottery balls had fallen with the Mavs nabbing the No. 11th spot, their pick would have immediately gone to the Knicks as compensation for the 2019 trade which sent Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks to Dallas.
Thus, even though this was not the “pinch me” moment the Mavs desired – that being winning the lottery and securing the No. 1 overall draft pick — at least they were able to salvage something very meaningful on a day where a lot of folks were on edge because of what was at stake.
The San Antonio Spurs won the lottery and will invariably select 7-4 France center Victor Wembanyama with the first pick in the June 22 NBA Draft. Charlotte finished second, followed by Portland, Houston, Detroit, Orlando, Indiana, Washington and Utah.
Orlando grabbed the No. 11 slot, followed by Oklahoma City, Toronto and New Orleans.
Harrison said he called his three daughters earlier Tuesday to have them give him some luck.
“I’m not really like a superstitious type of guy,” he said. “So that was like my good luck charm – my three daughters.
“My youngest said to turn my socks inside out.”
While Harrison represented the Mavs on the stage for the live (ESPN) television broadcast of the lottery, assistant general manager Michael Finely was in the back room where the actual lottery selections took place.
“It was great to see the whole process and how everything went down,” Finley said. “It was exciting to be a part of that.
“There was a lot of the unknown – stuff you can’t control. You just got to wait and see. Fortunately enough for us, we get to keep the pick.”
The Mavs got into the lottery after finishing the regular season in 11th place in the Western Conference with a 38-44 record. Indeed, Tuesday was not a perfect night for the Mavs, but at least they did walk away with a 10.
“Fin was in the back,” Harrison said. “He was doing the heavy lifting. That’s where everything was really happening. So, he actually was the one that got us the 10.”
And that “10” was actually a godsend for the Mavs, considering they knew they entered the Draft Lottery with a chance of losing that first-round pick altogether to the Knicks.
“I was anxious in the fact that there was still a 20 percent chance that we didn’t get our pick,” Harrison said. “So, it worked out. We didn’t lose.”
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