The Dallas Mavericks are sitting multiple key starters and rotation players against the Chicago Bulls Friday night — Kyrie Irving, Christian Wood, Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber are all sitting out, according to the Mavericks, who announced the news Friday morning.
This means the Mavericks are officially throwing in the towel on the season, but oddly enough, they aren’t going all the way — you’ll notice Luka Doncic is still playing, as is Reggie Bullock, and potentially JaVale McGee. Combine those veterans with rookie Jaden Hardy, who has thrived in situations when given a bigger role, and the Mavericks could absolutely still win a game against a Bulls team likely to be without most of its starters. That could not matter though, as the Thunder will likely play a resting Grizzlies team on Sunday. Still though, it’s a bit of a shocking development. Luka Doncic told reporters before the Kings game that he will keep playing as long as there is a chance, and the team really did everything it could to win against the Kings.
The Mavericks can only keep their draft pick this summer if it lands in the top 10, otherwise it goes to the New York Knicks to complete the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Dallas can only make the play-in if it wins its final two games and Oklahoma City loses against Memphis on Sunday. Those stark odds, combined with the fact that the Mavericks earning a top-10 pick is the only way to salvage such a miserable season, has spurred the team to finally pull the plug on trying to sneak into the playoffs through the play-in tournament.
It’s been a weird, and mostly miserable season. It ending this way feels fitting. Go Mavs, eat Arby's.