Would it be the worst thing for the Mavericks to keep losing and have a top-five pick?

Tim Cowlishaw, sports columnist for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, author of Drunk on Sports and panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” answered your questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, Stars and college sports in his reader mailbag. Here are some highlights.

Will Luka Doncic’s Rookie of the Year candidacy be knocked by the Mavericks’ lack of wins?

Cowlishaw: I wouldn’t think so. It’s a performance-based award. Michael Carter-Williams won it five years ago with a horrible Philadelphia team. Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns won back to back awards with Minnesota teams that missed the playoffs. So if the Mavericks turn out to be a disappointing 30-to-32 wins team, I don’t think that has a dramatic impact on Doncic’s chances. Right now he has the numbers to win the award but, obviously, we are just 10 games in.

Would it be the worst thing if the Mavs wound up losing enough to keep their pick and draft a player in the top five next summer?

Cowlishaw: It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the long run, but it certainly wasn’t the plan. And it would tell everyone how far away this team is from actually building anything. If Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan as a core can’t get you out of the bottom five, then you need a lot more help than another high pick is going to provide.

What, to you, has been the most surprising aspect of the Mavericks’ start to the season?

Cowlishaw: Honestly, the record is worse than they have been playing. In back-to-back road games at San Antonio and Los Angeles, the Mavericks could have won both (one went to OT, the other to the buzzer) and found ways to lose both. So with just a small sample games, a 5-6 record would have people feeling very differently than 3-8. I do wonder about Doncic and Smith playing together and how that’s going to work over time, but it’s very early to say there is a problem with it.

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