NEW YORK: The Dallas Mavericks have been fined $750,000 by the NBA for resting key players against the Chicago Bulls despite being in play-off contention. In a statement, the NBA said they had shown “a desire” to lose in order to improve their chances of getting a top-10 pick in this summer’s draft. NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars said the Mavericks’ actions had “failed our fans and our league”. Mavericks were defeated 115-112 by the Bulls on April 7. Dallas said Kyle Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr and Maxi Kleber were all nursing injuries while Josh Green and Christian Wood were being rested. All five players — plus Luka Doncic, who played only 12 minutes — featured in their previous win over the Sacramento Kings, which led to the accusations of ‘tanking’ — fielding a weakened side in order to lose and improve their draft chances. A lower finish in the overall standings would have boosted Dallas’ hopes of signing highly-rated French teenager Victor Wembanyama. “The Mavericks violated the league’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 2023 NBA draft,” the statement said. “The league did not find that the players who participated in the game were not playing to win.” Dumars added Dallas had “undermined the integrity of our sport”.