After not signing Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $55 million deal when they had the chance, the Mavericks sit in eighth place in the West with a 34-35 record. Dallas’ loss has been the New York Knicks’ gain.
Mark Cuban went big a few days before the trade deadline when the Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving from the Nets. Luka Doncic needed a star to play alongside him so when Irving requested a trade, Dallas was the team that decided to step forward and get him. However, that move hasn’t exactly worked as expected for the Mavericks.
Irving has a 5-6 record in games played for Dallas this season and in games where Irving and Doncic play, the Mavericks have a 3-6 record. There’s even a chance that Dallas won’t remain in play-in tournament range with the Western Conference race being a tight one. Right behind the Mavericks are the Lakers (33-35), Pelicans (33-35), Thunder (33-35), and Jazz (33-36).
Knicks fans should be rooting for the Mavericks to struggle, but only enough for the top-10 2023 protected first-round pick that Dallas sent to New York in the Kristaps Porzingis trade to get in the No. 11-14 range.
Knicks’ chances of having 2023 lottery pick increases as Mavericks struggle
Because the pick is top 10 protected, if it doesn’t end up conveying, the Mavericks will then be awarded a top 10 pick. That might make the sting of Kyrie Irving potentially leaving in free agency a bit better, although it would still be a massive disappointment for Dallas. The Mavericks lost Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith (their best defender), a 2029 first-round pick, a 2027 second-round pick, and a 2029 second-round pick for Irving and Markieff Morris.
Trading for Irving was a move that clearly Dallas felt as if it had to make after being unsuccessful at trying to replace Jalen Brunson.
The Mavericks signed Kemba Walker to a veteran’s minimum earlier in the season but waived him shortly thereafter. Dallas has been critiqued for not getting another star to play with Doncic, but it’ll look even worse if the Mavericks don’t make the playoffs with Luka and Kyrie.
This mess could’ve been avoided if Dallas would’ve simply signed Brunson to a new contract. Luckily for Knicks fans, that didn’t happen. Now, cross your fingers that the 2023 protected pick will rise a few more spots as it currently sits at No. 15.