The NBA Draft Lottery is here! And somehow, despite having a top five player in the league and a mercurial but perennial all-star, the Dallas Mavericks have a chance at the number one overall pick. They’re slated to have the 10th overall pick, but there’s a chance they fall out of the top ten, in which case they’d have to send the pick to the New York Knicks.
Pregaming: In honor of presumed number one overall pick and generational French talent Victor Wembanyama, I got dinner at La Madeleine’s, a Dallas based fast casual restaurant serving French cuisine. I had a croque monsieur, and it was delightful. Somehow this will influence the ping pong balls.
7 p.m.: The official program has begun, and I hate it. I do my best to avoid all halftime shows, postgame shows, and any sort of talking head debate programs, so having to listen to ESPN talent blather about things is irritating. But we must persevere.
7:05 p.m.: Brandon Miller, the Thompson twins, and Scoot Henderson are here. Why?
7:10 p.m.: The broadcast shows that the Mavericks have a three percent chance of getting the number one pick. They’ve never, ever moved up in the draft lottery, not once in 40 years. The odds of that happening are lower than three percent right? The luck has to change. It has to.
7:15 p.m.: The way ESPN and the NBA drag this out is criminal. CRIMINAL. Just let me know my fate.
7:17 p.m.: Nico Harrison is representing Dallas at the lottery, and I’ve seen some push back about that online. People wanted a Mavericks legend to be there, which a lot of teams have done over the years. But with the potential for this to go very wrong, I understand not wanting anyone besides the general manager up there.
7:18 p.m.: Mark Tatum is at the podium and my heart is pounding.
7:19 p.m.: The 11th pick comes up, and it’s the Orlando Magic. Disaster is avoided. At the very least, the Mavericks won’t be handing over a valuable pick to the Knicks.
7:20 p.m.: The Mavericks land solidly at the 10th pick. Harrison sits there, stone-faced, which is pretty much how he always looks. It’s much better than losing the pick, but just once, just one time, could this team move up in the lottery? It’s approaching impossibly laughable odds at this point. Forget the number one pick, moving into the top four would’ve been nice.
7:25 p.m.: The San Antonio Spurs land the number one pick, and presumably, Wembanyama. Peter Holt loses his mind, going full Rick Flair “WOOOOO.” That’s fine, I guess. The River Walk and the Seine are very similar, so he’ll probably feel at home.
I’m actually a Wemby doubter, so I’m not exactly devastated here. I’m fine with keeping the tenth pick, and more bummed about Dallas not moving into the top four. Anyway, start making up your mock drafts!