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What picking at No. 9 means for the Mavericks

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The Mavs weren’t able to summon any lottery night magic, but picking ninth means a lot for the franchise.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Well — that wasn’t exactly the result we were hoping for, but the Dallas Mavericks will indeed own the No. 9 pick in this year’s NBA Draft. On the bright side, the Mavs did have a small chance of falling to No. 10-12, so at least that was avoided. And although Dallas won’t be getting one of the top-3 prospects in this draft, this pick still means an awful lot for this franchise.

For starters, the Mavs’ top-two all-time leading scorers (Dirk Nowitzki and Rolando Blackman) were both No. 9 picks in their respective drafts. That’s got to be a good sign, right? This draft is so loaded with talent, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a player like Dennis Smith, Jr. or Jonathan Isaac falls to Dallas.

Also, unlike the last time Dallas was in the lottery, the Mavericks front office has a new-found respect for the draft. They now know how important it is to draft the best available player, instead of trading out of the lottery to create cap space for Dwight Howard and then drafting Shane Larkin instead of Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Mavs fans can rest easy this time around, because that’s not going to happen again. The Mavs finally have their top-10 pick, and come June 22nd, they're going to put it to good use by selecting the best available player remaining — unless they make an unexpected trade (*cue dramatic music*).