The NBA announced on Friday that the Dallas organization has been fined $750,000 for “conduct detrimental to the league” in an elimination game against Chicago on April 7.
The league launched an investigation on April 8 because the team rested Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardway Jr, Josh Green, Christian Wood and Maxi Kleber in a game that could have landed Dallas a play-in spot if they had won, but they lost 115-112.
Their best player Luka Doncic also only played the first 12 minutes, 35 seconds before leaving the game.
The NBA determined that the Mavericks “violated the NBA’s player resting policy and 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 next draft, they said in a statement.
“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,” Joe Dumars, NBA executive vice president/head of basketball operations, said. “The Mavericks’ actions failed our fans and our league.”
Mavs coach Jason Kidd was questioned immediately after the game about why they rested so many players, he chalked it up to being an “organizational decision” by Mavs governor Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison.
“It’s not so much waving the white flag,” Kidd said. “It’s [that] decisions sometimes are hard in this business. We’re trying to build a championship team. With this decision, this is maybe a step back. But hopefully it leads to going forward.”
It is not the first time that Cuban has been caught out for this kind of thing, as he was fined was fined $600,000 in 2018 for publicly admitting the Mavericks were tanking and in 2017, he admitted Dallas “did everything possible to lose games” once eliminated from the playoffs.