The 2023 NBA Draft is here, and we have all the information you need to be prepared to tune in! The marquee name is French phenom Victor Wembanyama, yes, but there are plenty of names worth watching on Thursday evening. This lottery class is deep with talent, and lucky for the Dallas Mavericks they have the 10th pick.
Alabama’s Brandon Miller and Scoot Henderson of G League Ignite are expected to be called in the top three. The Thompson twins, Amen and Ausar, figure to be dynamic lottery talent. Let’s not forget Cam Whitmore, Jarace Walker, Anthony Black, and Taylor Hendricks. All of these players should expect to be drafted early in the evening’s festivities.
But drafts rarely go chalk. Plenty of rumors have surfaced in the last weeks about teams considering a trade up in to the top three for the dynamic Henderson, who in most classes not featuring a 7-foot 13-inch center with ballhandling skills would be a number one pick. If a team does jump forward expect a shake up in prospect order quickly. That is where the Mavericks step in.
Dallas’ path to the lottery wasn’t without controversy. After waffling back and forth in their efforts to make the postseason play-in tournament, the Mavericks front office finally relented and sat players for the final two games of the season, an attempt to ensure their lottery spot. This led to outcry across the internet, quite frankly for way too long, and also sparked an investigation from the league office (and an eventual $750,000 fine). And while everyone was crying about the organization “giving up” it ignored the real reason for anger: every single decision over the last five years that got them here.
Now that the team has the tenth pick in their possession, reports leading up to draft night indicate they will be trading it. There is no debate that the Mavericks need to overhaul their depth and provide true contending pieces around Luka Doncic. How they get there is the real question. Many of us at MMB have implored the Mavericks to retain the pick and find young talent — there are many paths the team can travel to finding quality players on Thursday night, that don’t necessarily involve selling it off with salary filler.
While some of these names are likely off the board before the Mavericks are on the clock, here are some names we’ve considered over the last two months:
The reality for Dallas is that they have plenty of pathways Thursday night. Whether that be making the pick, using the pick to trade back, or using the pick to trade out of the draft entirely. And for as much hand-wringing as we can muster there is no way to say at this point which path is best — there are risks down every avenue. It only matters that the path they choose be right. Easier said than done.
How to watch
The NBA Draft Countdown will be televised starting at 6:30 PM CST, followed by the draft at 7 p.m. CST on ESPN. For local fans, the Dallas Mavericks are hosting a watch party at the Echo Lounge & Music Hall in Dallas, just on the other side of the highway from the American Airlines Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.