With the NBA Draft coming in the next month, followed rapidly by NBA free agency and summer league soon after, the Dallas Mavericks are approaching one of the peak seasons of team interest in the league calendar. The Mavericks do themselves and their fans a disservice when they do not announce or publish any players they bring in for workouts.
Diehards checking this site in May when the team’s out of the playoffs may not know this, but there are a few spikes in casual fan interest: the trade deadline, the playoffs, the draft, and free agency. As fans and analysts who cover the team out of a place of passion and interest, it’s frustrating that the Mavericks have, for years, not shared any information with the public about who they bring in.
This policy has to be a legacy of the Donnie Nelson era, the man who discovered Dirk Nowitzki on the scouting trail. “We tried to hide him,” Nelson said, but Nowitzki blew the Dallas cover by hanging 33 on highly ranked American players in an exhibition game in San Antonio. In those days, it was still possible to keep international players a secret.
There are no real secrets anymore when it comes to the draft and the Mavericks are missing a golden opportunity to gin up fan interest in the team and potential players. While there are some teams that mirror the Dallas approach, saying nothing about who they bring in for workouts and interviews, like the Chicago Bulls, flooding the zone with information can be just as obfuscating as staying silent. Plus, information tends to get out anyway, like when Jordan Hawkins said he spoke with the Mavericks or in 2020 when Desmond Bane noted Dallas was the only team that didn’t bring him in.
If you think I’m overstating it, let’s take a look at some of the content other teams are putting out on their own platforms. The Hornets, picking two in this draft, have an interview up with Scoot Henderson, a guy they may very well pick with that selection.
The Trail Blazers, for example, have brought in Dillon Mitchell, Julian Phillips, Colby Jones, and Andre Jackson so far.
But Kirk, you might be thinking, the Blazers aren’t going to draft any of these players with their number three overall pick! That’s true, but they also own the 23rd pick and the 43rd pick as well, not to mention they might be interested in signing these players to a summer league roster or a two-way spot. I’ve confirmed with Blazers media friends that the Blazers also make these players available to local media as well following workouts.
The Pacers share a ton as well! Take a look at their YouTube page.
The Los Angeles Lakers just exited the playoffs, but in the past, they’ve been brilliant at controlling the message and sharing with the media all the various players they bring in for consideration, even if they don’t have draft picks. I could keep going because more teams share this sort of information than don’t.
Of course, what I’m suggesting would create more work for the Mavericks PR team, a great group of people we very much appreciate. But the upside, the conversation, and yes, the content, is worth putting all this information out there for we diehards to consume. It’s much more fun and less toxic than discussing whether or not the Mavericks should trade their pick or the Kyrie Irving free agency blather, so much of which is pure conjecture. Considering how someone like Andre Jackson Jr. might fit on the Dallas roster if they buy into the second round or debating what likely undrafted free agents the Mavericks should pursue for their NBA Summer League roster is fun!
Of course, I don’t expect the Mavericks to change anything they do on my account. This is an organization that sticks to its guns, even if those guns are out of ammunition. Perhaps one day, down the road, the Mavericks will start to share all this information. Until then, we’ll have to fill the void with conjecture and hypotheticals.