Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2001 NBA Draft
For those who have been following this week, we are taking this time leading up to the draft to go back and see how the Mavericks have done in past drafts. Today will be the year 2001.
As the NBA Draft gets another day closer, we continue our quest through the Dallas Mavericks draft history. After starting with coverage of the stacked 1999 NBA Draft and then addressing the disappointing 2000 draft, we now move to the year 2001.
The 2001 NBA Draft was full of talented and athletic players, but the first pick happens to be one of the bigger busts in recent NBA history. With the first selection of the draft, the Washington Wizards selected Kwame Brown, a center coming straight from high school to the NBA with, at the time, major potential.
Notable Players Drafted in 1999
Tyson Chandler – Rd. 1 Pk. 2 (LAC traded to CHI)
Pau Gasol – Rd. 1 Pk. 3 (ATL traded to VAN)
Joe Johnson – Rd. 1 Pk. 10 (BOS)
Richard Jefferson – Rd. 1 Pk. 13 (HOU traded to NJN)
Zach Randolph – Rd. 1 Pk. 19 (POR)
Samuel Dalembert – Rd. 1 Pk. 26 (PHI)
Tony Parker – Rd. 1 Pk. 28 (SAS)
Gilbert Arenas – Rd. 2 Pk. 31 (GSW)
Brian Scalabrine – Rd. 2 Pk. 35 (NJN)
State of the Mavs
For the first time in many years, the Dallas Mavericks had finally put together a winning formula backed by Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, and Michael Finley. Although the team still was led by the great play of Finley, it was clear that Dirk was going to be a star.
With Nowitzki and Nash on the up and up and Finley still playing at a high level, Dallas fought their way from a 40-win season the year prior, to a 53-29 record and the 5th seed in the Western Conference.
The youth of the Mavericks team already was promising for the future and, for that reason, the draft didn’t seem too important, but a boost in production from a few positions (namely Center) were still desired in Dallas.
What the Mavs Did
The year previous to the draft, Dallas showed some crazy aggression that we have never seen before or since the 2000 Draft. After trading for 3 separate 1st round picks in the draft, Dallas came away with 3 disappointing players that did not stay in a Mavericks uniform for long.
The issue with these trades is that, in return, Dallas had to trade away the first round pick for 2001. That traded pick equated to the New Jersey Nets getting the 23rd pick from Houston, who received the pick from Orlando with which the Mavericks had traded the year prior. Brandon Armstrong was the resulting pick.
Although this pick did not turn into anyone exciting—Armstrong played a total of 3 seasons in the NBA before going overseas—there were still great players left on the board. That, along with the fact that the Mavs were far from in need of a shooting guard on the roster, shows that maybe keeping this pick would have been better for the team.
That being said, it is hard to fault Dallas for being aggressive the year before. Most Mavericks fans have spent many years begging for the organization to take the draft seriously and get some youth on the team, which is exactly what they had done and failed on.
The rest of the draft presented Dallas with two 2nd-round picks at number 44 and 54 overall. The Mavs selected Kyle Hill with the 44th pick, who subsequently signed with a French team in the Euroleague and never made it to the NBA.
The 54th selection, Kenny Satterfield, found his way on to the Denver Nuggets basketball team that year and never played a minute for the Mavericks.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
It is easy to look back on this draft and say that the Mavericks made some mistakes, which is true, but we also need to remember why we did take a stab at 3 different first-round players the year prior.
Dallas was in a situation where they needed only one or two players to get them over the hump. Finishing 9th the year prior, they were still going to get a decent pick in the draft. With players that did not fit the expectations and desired roles for the team already on the roster, Dallas sent a few players and future picks away to try and setup a win-now formula.
Truthfully, we struck out in this endeavor, finding a way to select three first round players that all had unsuccessful NBA careers. To go along with that, Dallas would’ve had a chance to land a number of solid players in the league with that 23rd overall pick. Positionally they may not have made much sense but, looking back now, a few of these players have had some great years in the league.
After the 23rd pick, other players selected include Tony Parker, Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Trenton Hassell, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur, and Earl Watson. Many of these players had great careers while others had good individual seasons here and there.
It is hard to look back and not be subjective towards what the Mavericks did but, at the time, it all made sense to do what the Mavs did.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2000 NBA Draft
The 2001 NBA Draft was certainly not the highlight draft of the Mavericks organization but it all worked out in the end as Dallas entered into some of the most impressive and exciting years of the entire franchise. Stay tuned to see how the Mavs did in the draft from 2002-2015 here at The Smoking Cuban.