Horror show: Mavericks’ draft history in the NBA lottery

The NBA Playoffs are essentially over, meaning the draft is the next most interesting item on the pro basketball calendar.Before the draft, there is the lottery, which is Tuesday night. The “event” is at 6:30 p.m. from Chicago and will be carried by ESPN.For the 15th time in their history, the Dallas Mavericks will be a part of the NBA’s effort to prevent tanking.The team finished 24-58, the third least-good mark in the NBA. They have a 42.6 percent chance of a top-three pick, and 13.8 percent chance at the No. 1 overall selection.How many times have the Mavs finished with a top three pick? Glad you asked. Once.In 1994 with the second pick, they selected Cal point guard Jason Kidd, who they eventually traded two years later to the Suns in the deal for Michael Finley. They Mavs re-acquired Kidd from the Nets in a 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.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.Ron Harper was the eighth overall selection in the draft, and he went on to have a long, steady NBA career.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.The next pick after White was Georgia Tech forward Tom Hammonds.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.The next pick was Luc Longley.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.The next pick was LaPhonso Ellis of Notre Dame.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.