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Dallas Mavericks History Of Botched NBA Draft Picks


Shane Larkin

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For almost two decades the NBA draft has been a joke for the Dallas Mavericks. If you are a die-hard Mavericks fan like myself (if you aren’t thanks for reading this) you have grown accustomed to ignoring the draft because you know that nothing-good will come out of it. The only notable player Dallas has drafted since the “Dirk Era” was Josh Howard in 2003.


The 2017 NBA draft could be a little different because Dirk Nowitzki will be assisting the front office in their decisions. With the 9th pick and a fairly large talented pool of players, the Mavericks hope to find their future Draymond Green or Isaiah Thomas.


Just remember, the best thing that happened to the Mavericks was a player that was drafted with the 9th pick in 1998.


Now let’s get to the point of this article. I’m here to remind you and myself of what could have been if the Mavericks drafted better since the “Dirk Era” began. I’m picking what I think are the five botched draft picks for the Mavericks. Also, this doesn’t include undrafted players. 


Bonehead Move:


I’ll start this off by reminding you that the Mavericks didn’t draft Nowitzki in 1998, even though Don Nelson was dead set on acquiring him. The Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks had a pre-discussed trade where Dallas would take Robert Traylor at No.6 and trade him to the Bucks for Dirk (9) and Pat Garrity (19).


Garrity would be dealt to the Phoenix Suns and in return Dallas landed Steve Nash. Just think if the Bucks decided to break the deal and keep Dirk, that could have been bad. But the deal worked out but one sports writer didn’t like the move.


Let’s take a quick look at the Mavericks draft grade in ’98 by Eddie Sefko.



2+2 = 3 is more correct than his statement. Anyways, let’s move on to my top 5 botched draft moments. 


  1. 2006 NBA Draft


With the 28th pick the Mavericks selected Maurice Ager. Ager lasted two seasons with Dallas and averaged a measly 1.9 points per game. Which player should Dallas have drafted?


Paul Millsap!


Millsap was taken with the 47th pick by the Utah Jazz and played seven seasons before signing with the Atlanta Hawks. Next season will be his 12th averaging 14 points and seven rebounds throughout his career. Ager lasted five seasons and only appeared in 82 games.


  1. 2009 NBA Draft


The Mavericks drafted Byron Mullens at 24 and traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Rodrigue Beaubois. Do you remember Beaubois? He was supposed to be the next-best-thing for Dallas but things didn’t turn out that way. He played four seasons and never stayed healthy to play a full season. He ended his career averaging seven points a game. Which player(s) did Dallas miss on?


Taj Gibson, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Beverly, Danny Green, and Patty Mills.


None of these players are extremely sexy but all are still in the league and all would have been better in the long haul.


  1. 2011 NBA Draft


Oh the 2011 NBA draft, what a joke this was. The chances the Mavericks had were great but we managed to over-think. Dallas traded away both their picks to acquire Rudy Fernandez from the Portland Trailblazers. Fernandez was then traded away in December of that same season. So which FRANCHISE player(s) did Dallas overlook?



Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons (not franchise) and Isaiah Thomas.


Let’s just take a second to reread those three names. Butler is a franchise player that was taken with the last pick in the first round and has averaged 16 points in his career and 23 points over the past three seasons.


Parsons would have been better to draft than to waste all that money only for him to get injured and never live up to his hype with Dallas. But taking him in the draft would have been ideal. Finally, everyone but the Sacramento Kings missed on Thomas. Thomas has averaged 19 points in his career and has been phenomenal as of late. Too bad the Kings didn’t see that, now the Boston Celtics love MIGHTYIT!



  1. 2012 NBA Draft



Dallas took Tyler Zeller (17) and traded him to Cleveland for three selections (Jae Crowder, Jared Cunningham and Bernard James) with Crowder being the only positive thing to come out of this deal. He would soon be traded to the Celtics. So, whom did Dallas miss on?


Draymond Green!


Green was a second round pick (35) and has turned out to be a phenomenal and very emotional player. The Mavericks could use his spice, as they never have had that player that brings as much emotion to the game that Green does. It’s the type of emotion that could change the pace or outcome of a game.


  1. 2013 NBA Draft


The Mavericks were dying to get out of the 13th selection. Why? I don’t really know. I’ve read many articles and my mind is still blown. Either way, Dallas ended up with Shane Larkin. Larkin lasted a season and averaged three points before being traded away. Whom did Dallas miss on?



Giannis Antetokounmpo!! GREEK FREAK!!!!


This really makes my heart hurt. Rumors have alway been that Donnie Nelson wanted to draft the kid from Greece but Mark Cuban wanted Larkin. The rest, is history.




I love Social Media and the Dallas Mavericks. Follow my journey — @TrevorPeele.

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