It’s been three weeks since the Dallas Mavericks played their final game of the 2018-19 season. Since then, we’ve all been recovering from Dirk Nowitzki’s retirement.
Looking ahead, the hopes and dreams for the 2019-20 season are already taking root on social media. It’s not just the keyboard warriors who are laying out possible paths to the future. Now that it’s finally May, teams out of the playoffs are also formulating their summer plans.
With that in mind, here are some key dates and events to keep an eye on in the coming months.
NBA Draft Lottery, May 14th
This event really kicks off the NBA offseason in earnest, with the randomized weighted selection of lottery balls based on a pre-determined allocation of odds. This year is the first one featuring new odds. The top four positions in the NBA Draft are up for grabs instead of the top three spots. Though the best chances are still held by the worst teams, odds are spread out more amount the top 14 teams with real statistical chances for teams to move up compared to previous seasons. Read more about it here.
CEO Cynt Marshall will represent the Mavericks at the lottery where Dallas currently has a 6 percent chance at the number one overall pick and a 26 percent chance to leap into the top four.
NBA Draft Combine, May 14th-19th
Held in Chicago, the combine is every draft nerd’s dream. Finally, we’ll get official measurements on everything from height, weight, hand size, and various drills from a majority of players. However, it’s important to note that many of the top prospects don’t always participate in every aspect of the combine. This means we might not know Zion Williamson’s official weight or height until the start of the season, for instance. But this event is still quite fun for draftniks who’ve spent years following high school and college players.
NBA Draft, June 20th
How much Mavericks fans care about the draft really depends on how the lottery goes. If Dallas jumps up, expect a ton of interest. Even if the Mavericks don’t land the number one over all selection, picks two through four give the team a fascinating number of options. (Remember that if the pick is outside the top 5, it conveys to Atlanta as part of the Luka Doncic deal.) Even if Dallas doesn’t have a first round pick, there’s still the second round pick for Dallas (pick 37 over all) which they’ve done well historically in this range when they pick between 31 and 40.
Free agency begins, July 1st
Though there’s a moratorium on actual signings between July 1st and July 5th, we usually have an idea with where a free agent plans to sign within the first few hours of the new month. This happens to be a Monday, so plan ahead if you expect to stay up all night following the big news breaking accounts.
The Mavericks have a ton of potential options in free agency, so expect the unexpected at a minimum, even if news leaks to the media beforehand. The fact is, with the last two big front office moves for Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, no one had any idea until right before the deals got done.
At a minimum—unless we hear differently in the coming months—expect Dallas to re-sign Porzingis to an extension worth as much as he’s due under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
NBA Summer League, July 5th to the 15th
The final event of the NBA offseason is perhaps the most fun. Held in Las Vegas annually, Summer League is where the hardcore among us watch hour upon hour of truly bad basketball. Teams are made up of recent draft picks, the undrafted, and free agents who are looking to improve their game, stake out a better spot in a rotation, catch the eye of an overseas club, or simply just for a shot to play.
Prior to drafting Luka Doncic, the past several summer leagues have been quite important for Dallas as they attempted to find diamonds in the rough. But this year, the Mavericks have less at stake. However, with the 37th pick probably playing and whoever else Dallas can sign to the team, there’s still plenty of reason to tune in. After all, current Phoenix Suns player Ray Spalding was a Dallas find until they cut him following the KP trade.
The long night, July 16th to late September
This period is truly the only time in the calendar year when there are next to no basketball events or scheduled things which could qualify as news. So that leaves us to look backward, forward, and inward as we pine for the start of training camp.
Enjoy these next two months; they’re going to be action-packed.