Dallas Mavericks

What Warriors can learn from Mark Cuban's Luka Doncic NBA draft advice

What Warriors can learn from Mark Cuban's Luka Doncic NBA draft advice

The Warriors (12-43) have the worst record in the NBA, and most likely will end up with a top-five pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. It's possible they land the No. 1 overall selection.

At this point, nobody has any clue what Golden State is going to do. Will the Dubs trade the pick? Will they go with "best player available" or draft for positional need? 

The picture won't become clearer until at least May 19 when the NBA Draft Lottery is held, and we know exactly where the Warriors will be picking.

Certain mock drafts have Golden State taking big man James Wiseman because of the franchise's need to add a center. It sounds like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes that would be a mistake.

NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh had Cuban as a guest on the latest episode of "The Habershow" podcast, and Cuban provided the following answer when asked why Luka Doncic fell to No. 3 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft:

"Every team has to make their own choice. Also, context matters. Why was Sam Bowie drafted No. 1? Because Portland had Clyde Drexler. Luka will be the last year where there was a bias towards bigs.

"Historically, if there was a Shaquille O'Neal, a transcendental big, you always have to take him. But I think what we've learned watching the all-time greats -- in the conversation of Jordan, LeBron, Kobe -- they all had the ability to bring the ball up and are not dependent on somebody else to get them the ball.

"And in a wide open game the way it is now, that's even more important. Luka prototypes are going to be the 1s going forward. And the bigs are gonna be the running backs of the NFL."

Unfortunately for the Warriors, nobody thinks there is a "Luka prototype" in this year's crop of players. Most evaluators agree that the talent pool is weaker compared to prior years.

[RELATED: Why Dubs-LaMelo draft pairing could be mutually beneficial]

But Cuban definitely is correct in that wings and guards have greater value in today's NBA. Big men, while still important, are considered more interchangeable. Yet still, his perspective doesn't automatically translate to every draft, as context matters.

No matter what the Warriors end up doing in the upcoming draft, we probably aren't going to know for a year or two (or even longer) whether it was the "right" move or not.

Fans simply have to trust the front office's decision-making and vision.

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Watch Luke Walton hilariously ask Luka Doncic to give ref an autograph

Watch Luke Walton hilariously ask Luka Doncic to give ref an autograph

The Kings headed into the NBA All-Star break with a whimper rather than a bang in a 130-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. 

Sacramento dropped to 21-33 with the defeat, and frustration appeared to set in for coach Luke Walton in the second half. Kings guard De'Aaron Fox didn't draw a foul on his driving layup with 10.6 seconds remaining in the third quarter and let's just say Walton vehemently disagreed with the no-call. 

Walton wasn't happy with the calls Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic was getting, and he told the potential MVP candidate as much. 

"Hey, Luka!" Walton yelled to Doncic. "Do me a favor: Give [referee Ed Malloy] your autograph after the game! He's a fan! He's a fan of yours." 

Doncic does have plenty of fans, considering the Slovenian guard's jersey was the NBA's sixth-best seller from October through December. Malloy surely wasn't one of the buyers, but the free-throw disparity between Fox and Doncic -- 12-9 in favor of Doncic -- in a blowout loss probably was the driving force behind Walton's hilarious chirp.

[RELATED: Kings head into All-Star break in need of complete reset] 

Walton, at least, can bond with Minnesota Timberwolves radio play-by-play announcer Alan Horton over going viral after a Malloy no-call. Horton infamously screamed "NO, ED MALLOY!" on a broadcast when Shawn Marion wasn't called for a foul on then-Timberwolves big man Kevin Love's game-winning shot attempt.

The Kings were down 23 points at the time of Malloy's no-call Wednesday, but Marion, strangely enough, played for the Mavericks at the time of Horton's infamous call. Viral misery loves company, so Horton and Walton should have plenty to talk about on April 9 when the Kings next play the Timberwolves. 

Kings takeaways: What we learned in sloppy 130-111 loss vs. Mavericks

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Kings takeaways: What we learned in sloppy 130-111 loss vs. Mavericks

BOX SCORE

The getaway, that got away.

Playing the final game before the NBA All-Star break, the Kings got off to a rough shooting start and then looked like a team ready for a week off. 

The Dallas Mavericks, led by All-Star Luka Doncic and big man Kristaps Porzingis, ran over the Kings to come away with the 130-111 victory.  

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped their second straight game to fall to 21-33 on the season.

Going small

Shorthanded in the post and searching for answers, coach Luke Walton opened the game with De’Aaron Fox, Cory Joseph, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica as his starting five. The plan backfired.

Sacramento got wide-open looks but couldn’t convert as they fell behind early. When Bjelica picked up a second early foul, Walton went even smaller, turning to two-way player DaQuan Jeffries. 

The Kings are going to be without Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes for the foreseeable future. Walton will need to get creative, but he can tear that starting group page out of the playbook.

Walton’s second unit responded to cut the Mavs lead to 32-28 going to the second quarter, but the Kings can’t afford to dig double-digit first-quarter deficits on the road. 

Baze

The conversation regarding the Kings’ recent uptick in wins has focused on the backcourt change with Bogdan Bogdanovic moving into the starting group with Buddy hield shifting to the bench. The hot streak also coincides with the arrival of veteran Kent Bazemore.
 
Bazemore brings and energy and length at the wing that the Kings didn’t have before he arrived in the trade for Trevor Ariza. He spent time defending Doncic and was aggressive going to the rim. 

The defensive specialist finished the game with 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting and chipped in seven rebounds. It wasn’t the outcome the Kings were looking for, but they are now 6-4 since Bazemore’s arrival.

MIA

It’s not often that De’Aaron Fox has a major off night, but he, along with Bjelica and Bogdanovic couldn’t buy a basket and it cost the Kings any chance of competing.

The trio combined to score just eight points on 3-for-16 from the field in the first half. Bjelica and Fox played better in the second half, but both posted numbers well below their season averages. 

Bogdanovic finished 2-of-11 from the field for six points. It’s not often you see a scoring line like that from the Kings’ starting shooting guard.