Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2000 NBA Draft
As we continue our NBA Draft series with the Dallas Mavericks, we look back at the 2000 NBA Draft and what could have been.
With the NBA Draft just over a month away, mock drafts and prospects is one of the hotter topics surrounding the league. We here at The Smoking Cuban decided to take a look back at the past 18 drafts and what all went down for Dallas around each draft.
After already digging through the 1999 NBA Draft, we turn our attention to the 2000 NBA Draft headlined by Kenyon Martin going number 1 overall to the New Jersey Nets.
Notable Players Drafted in 2000
Top 5 picks (Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller)
Jamal Crawford– Rd. 1, Pick 8 (CLE)
Hedo Turkoglu– Rd. 1, Pick 16 (SAC)
DeShawn Stevenson– Rd. 1, Pick 23 (UTA)
Michael Redd– Rd. 2, Pick 43 (MIL)
State of the Mavs
Dallas had just finished the 1999-00 season where they went 40-42 over the course of the season. With Dirk Nowitzki playing in just his second season, it was once again Michael Finley who led the way for Dallas averaging over 22 points a game.
Going into the offseason, Dallas looked to build around a core of Nowitzki, Finley and Steve Nash (with whom they acquired during the last summer). With Donnie Nelson at the helm and a big three to build around, Dallas could have went in any direction come draft night.
What the Mavs Did
With the 12th pick in the draft the Dallas Mavericks selected Etan Thomas out of Syracuse University. Thomas was big body that had just finished his fourth year at Syracuse after nearly averaging a double-double his senior season.
Dallas then turned around and traded their 2001 first round pick to the Orlando Magic for the very next pick after Etan Thomas, the 13th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. With that pick, Dallas selected Courtney Alexander, who was a 6’5″ combo guard who averaged 25 points a game in his last season at Fresno State. He was Consensus All-American 2nd team.
Dallas wasn’t done yet as they pulled off yet another trade for a first round pick when they traded with the New York Knicks for the 22rd pick in the 2000 NBA Draft to select Donnell Harvey.
This is arguably the most aggressive draft night in Dallas Mavericks history as they swung for the fences to land THREE first round draft picks in hoping to find pieces to surround their “big three” for years to come.
As most of you know reading this, none of the three picks ever panned out as Thomas never played a game for Dallas, Alexander was packaged in a trade and Harvey spent only a couple of years in Dallas.
It was in the second round that Dallas made a trade with the Houston Rockets to land the 38th pick in the draft to land eventual fan favorite Eduardo Najera. Najera would go on to play five seasons in Dallas and currently helps cover the team for Fox Sports.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
Now it is easy to look back at this draft and look at the complete failure that took place for Dallas. Any team that walks away from a draft after trading back into the first round for two more picks will naturally be under pressure to produce some quality talent.
But from where the Mavs were coming from, you can’t blame them for making these moves to try to make the next step as a franchise with Nowitzki, Finley and Nash at the helm. Eventually, they packaged both Alexander and Thomas with some other players to land Juwan Howard from the Washington Wizards. Howard stepped right in and helped the Mavs reach the second round of the playoffs in the 2000-01 season.
Now you can take a look at the 2001 first round draft pick they gave up for Alexander that turned out to be the 23rd pick in the draft the next season. Some players who were drafted that next year after 23 were Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, and Gerald Wallace.
The only pick you can really look at would be the Etan Thomas pick at 12. Dallas was looking to find a long-term answer next to Nowitzki in the front court and thought Thomas could be that guy. With Nash and Finley in the backcourt, some of the notable guards drafted after Thomas really wouldn’t have made since for Dallas.
At pick 19 the Charlotte Hornets took big man Jamaal Magloire out of Kentucky. The 6’11” center averaged nearly a double-double and two blocks a game in his last season at Kentucky. This could have possibly been a better option at the center spot.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 1999 NBA Draft
This draft will always be remembered throughout the franchise’s history for the utter failure that took place after it, but it’s a draft you have to understand where the Mavs were coming from in hoping to take the next leap.