NEW YORK — A team’s actions in a late-season game against the Bulls have earned them a hefty fine from the NBA.
The Dallas Mavericks were penalized $750,000 after they were found to have intentionally held out key players with a potential Western Conference play-in spot on the line on April 7.
Because of that, the Bulls were able to win 115-112, eliminating the Mavericks from playoff contention and assuring themselves of a lottery draft selection.
Naturally, the league frowned upon such a move since they discourage teams from openly losing to improve their place in the draft order, so an investigation was launched shortly after the game.
Per a new release from the league, they found that Dallas “demonstrated through actions and public statements the organization’s desire to lose the game in order to improve the chances of keeping its first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.”
The $750,000 fine was announced on Friday afternoon as the NBA gets ready to stage their final play-in games ahead of the NBA Playoffs.
“The Dallas Mavericks’ decision to restrict key players from fully participating in an elimination game last Friday against Chicago undermined the integrity of our sport,” said NBA head of basketball operations Joe Dumars, NBA Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations. “The Mavericks’ actions failed our fans and our league.”
As for the Bulls, they had nothing on the line playoff-wise for that contest since they had already locked up the tenth seed in Eastern Conference and the final play-in spot.
A loss could have potentially helped their odds of getting their first round pick back from the Magic, who hold the rights to it from the Nikola Vucevic trade in March 2021. Should the Bulls lose to the Heat on Friday in the game for the Eastern Conference’s eighth playoff seed, they would need to land in the top four in the lottery to get it back from Orlando.
Should the Bulls defeat Miami on Friday and make it to the playoffs, they would be ineligible for the 2023 draft lottery.