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NBA Draft 2018: Luka Doncic could still be in play for the Mavericks at five

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Doncic appears to be falling right into the Mavericks outstretched arms.

Basketball: Luka Doncic Sipa USA-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Luka Doncic dream to Dallas seemed to die when the Mavericks fell two spots in the NBA Draft Lottery. The team possessed the third best odds but witnessed the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks jump ahead of them in the draft order.

With the Mavericks tumble came the realization that the team would definitely miss out on Luka Doncic, the most accomplished European prospect ever. Doncic, the youngest EuroLeague player in history to be named EuroLeague Final Four MVP and the youngest EuroLeague MVP in history, was jockeying with DeAndre Ayton for the number one overall draft selection for much of this season.

Recent developments have resuscitated that dream, though.

Speaking with Adrian Wojnarowski on Woj’s podcast, The Woj Pod, ESPN’s draft analyst Mike Schmitz had an interesting take on whether Doncic could be available when the Mavs pick at five.

“I think absolutely he could. If Bagley is the guy that’s going to go two, and then Jaren Jackson at three, it’s hard to pass on a guy like Mo Bamba. There are interesting guys at the top of this draft, and Mo Bamba has killed the pre-draft process which is no surprise to me because you have a guy with a 7’10’’ wingspan, can shoot threes and is as intelligent as he is. His camp has done an awesome job in terms of packaging him to these NBA teams. So, you have these freaks at the top, and I think Doncic could very well be there for Dallas which would be a match made in heaven I think.”

All draft speculation needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but Schmitz is plugged in, and there’s no denying teams have soured on Doncic as of late.

To intensify the situation, it was reported the Memphis Grizzlies were “gauging the trade market” on the number four pick if it was attached to Chandler Parsons’ $50 million contract. Soon after, Mike Fisher of reported that the Mavericks would be willing to take on Parsons’ contract if the Grizzlies were serious about trading the pick. Dallas would likely have to part with a future pick and a combination of established players.

Essentially, the Mavericks could pick fourth AND fifth overall in a loaded draft, land Doncic and a player like Jaren Jackson Jr. or Mo Bamba.

This is al speculation of course. But...what? Just like that the Mavericks could form a nucleus of a dynamic young point guard, a playmaking wizard at the wing, and a floor-stretching rim protector by receiving some draft luck and reuniting with Parsons. This is a pie-in-the-sky scenario, but it’s not completely out of play.

No one has any idea how serious the front office is about acquiring an additional pick, but the fact that they’ve even thought about using cap space to take on albatross contracts in exchange for draft capital is huge. Remember, this is coming from the organization that previously said they wanted to compete for the playoffs next season.

Rumors run rampant in the weeks leading up to the draft, and it’s hard to see through the smokescreens. Doncic could very well go number two overall, and the Grizzlies could stay put at four. But what seemed impossible a month ago is gaining momentum.

It’s draft week, so buckle up. It’s bound to get weirder before it gets clearer.