Mac Engel

Karma slaps Cuban with Mavs in the NBA lottery

Mavs rookie preps for NBA dunk contest

The Mavs stink but Dennis Smith Jr. does not; he will participate in the NBA All Star Dunk contest (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).
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The Mavs stink but Dennis Smith Jr. does not; he will participate in the NBA All Star Dunk contest (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).

When we arrive at the Great Beyond one of the first questions to our maker must be, "Almighty, tell me why you hate the Dallas Mavericks?"

There is no explanation other than a divine power has it in for Mark Cuban, and his toy basketball team.

With great expectation and anticipation, the payoff for a horrid season came on Tuesday night for the Mavericks in the NBA Draft lottery. They should have finished with the third overall pick.

Instead, Mavs luck drilled 'em again and now they will select fifth.

Forward Dirk Nowitzki immediately Tweeted, "Of course."

Another reason to love Der Mann.

For the 14th time in their history, the Dallas Mavericks were in the lottery. Once again, they blew the layup. No team has been as bad as the Mavs when it comes to the lottery.

The team finished 24-58, the third least-good mark in the NBA. They had a 42.6 percent chance of a top-three pick, and 13.8 percent chance at the No. 1 overall selection.

Don't sweat this results; there is virtually no indication the Mavs would have fared any better selecting in any of the the top three spots.

Whether it's the first, third or fifth pick, the Mavs' history says we always must prepare ourselves accordingly. When reviewing the Mavs' history of the NBA lottery, be afraid. Consider yourself warned.

1986: The Mavs finished 44-38, and a 14.29 percent chance of winning the top pick. They selected forward/center Roy Tarpley with the seventh overall selection. In his second season, he was the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year. A dynamic player who averaged a double-double in four of his first five seasons, he had his demons. Lots of them.

He was suspended by the NBA in 1991 for substance abuse. He returned to the Mavs for the 1994-'95 season, but was out of the league after that year for the same offenses. He died in 2015 at 50.

1989: The Mavs selected the next Karl Malone, Louisiana Tech forward Randy White with the eighth pick. White would have been better served to actually be a mailman, because on the floor he was no Mailman.

White started 66 games with the Mavs in five seasons, and never averaged double digits in anything. He was out of the NBA after '94.

1990: The Mavs dealt their "future first round pick" to the Denver Nuggets as part of the deal to acquire Fat Lever. The pick, ninth overall, turned out to be Willie Burton, who went to the Miami Heat.

1991: Another bust forward, this time Missouri forward Doug Smith with the sixth pick. He lasted four nothing seasons with the Mavs before the Raptors selected him in the expansion draft. He was out of the NBA in 1996.

1992: The start of something special and the first of the Three Js, the Mavs selected Ohio State guard Jim Jackson with the fourth overall pick. He averaged 19.6 points in five years with the Mavs. He was dealt to the Nets in 1997 as part of a deal that brought center Shawn Bradley to the Mavs.

Jackson retired from the NBA in 2006.

1993: With the fourth overall pick, the Mavs selected Kentucky forward Jamal Mashburn. He averaged 19.9 points in four seasons with the Mavs, and in February of 1997 he was dealt to the Heat for ... Sasha Danilovic, Martin Muursepp and Kurt Thomas.

The second of The Three Js was gone.

1994: The last of The Three Js arrived, with the second pick in Cal point guard Jason Kidd. Two years later, they traded him to the Suns in the deal for Michael Finley. They Mavs re-acquired Kidd from the Nets in a '08 deal involving Devin Harris and, of course, Keith Van Horn. This was a time when Van Horn had to be included in every NBA trade to have the league approve the move.

1995: With the 12th overall pick, the Mavs went with Duke forward Cherokee Parks. His stats are not worth listing.

1996: Selecting ninth, the team drafted Louisville forward Samaki Walker. He lasted three years with the Mavs, and was a 10-year NBA player.

The next pick was Erick Dampier. Three picks later was Kobe Bryant.

1998: With the ninth pick, the team drafted Michigan forward Robert Traylor. They dealt him to the Bucks in exchange for Dirk Nowitzki.

2000: Having won 40 games the previous season, the team selected 12th, which they used on Syracuse forward Etan Thomas. He never played for the Mavs and was dealt to the Wizards in a deal that brought 2001 playoff hero Calvin Booth to the Mavs.

2013: The Mavs selected Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk, and dealt him immediately to Boston. He played five seasons with the Celtics and spent last season with the Heat.

Two picks later, Milwaukee selected Giannis Antetokounmpo.

2017: Dennis Smith Jr. arrived to the Mavs with the ninth pick. As a rookie, he averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game, and looks like a serious piece for a rebuild job.

And yet, four picks later, the Jazz took Donovan Mitchell.

Like I said, you were warned.

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