The Dallas Mavericks season has come to a sputtering close. No play-in or playoff basketball for Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of a roster that was on its last leg. But with that ending brings what could be an exciting beginning: draft season.
There is some time until combines, workouts, and draft orders will be set. But mark your calendars now. Here are the dates you need to know before we hit the summer!
April 23: NBA Early Entry eligibility deadline
For college players considering their chances at an NBA opportunity they will need to make that declaration soon. It is not uncommon to see a flurry of those in early April after the NCAA tournament finishes up.
May 16: NBA Draft Lottery
This is everything. The Mavericks, by losing their final two games, secured the 10th best draft odds for the first pick in this summer’s draft. The order is selected on the 16th, and then a studio show airs just after on ESPN at 7 PM CT to reveal the order. Smart Play Company manufactures the machine used, a lottery system that will produce 1001 possible outcomes.
While the Mavericks currently sit at 10th, giving them a 13.9-percent chance at a top four pick and a 3-percent chance at the number one pick, if any of the teams 11-14 jump up to the top four the Mavericks will give their pick to the New York Knicks. This will be a high-stakes evening that could determine how the rest of the offseason goes.
May 16-18: NBA Draft Combine
Some of the best NBA prospects will be on display for three days, going through physical testing, drills, scrimmages, and interviews with NBA teams. Recently the combine has been skipped by the elite talent, usually because the risk-reward isn’t enough incentive. One reported change in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement is that all combine participants will have to go through medical testing, an aspect many players or agents have avoided.
The Mavericks will know how important these three days will be by night one, when their draft pick will be determined. And if they end up coughing up their lottery pick, there’s always chance to trade back in, like they did last summer for Jaden Hardy.
June 12: NBA Draft Early Entrant withdrawal deadline
A fairly recent change to the draft process, players who announced their intention to test the waters of the draft process and get feedback from teams have the option to withdraw their name for consideration by this point. This allows for those not getting the assurances or evaluations they’d like to return to where they were playing and try again next summer.
June 22: NBA Draft
Whether they’ve had a pick or not the Mavericks have been fairly active on draft night the last several seasons. Given the anxiety and pressure on the front office this summer, I’d expect the Mavericks to be exploring all options on the 22nd. That could come in many forms: using their lottery pick, packaging that pick for other player(s), or trading back into the draft later in the night. One thing is for certain: when a team has their backs against the wall literally all possibilities are on the table.